Linebacker Shawn Barber will miss the remainder of the season as the Chiefs placed him on injured reserve and promoted linebacker Rich Scanlon from the practice squad. For his promotion, Scanlon received a three year contract from the Chiefs and he could suit up for Sunday's game against the Saints.
Barber will undergo what Coach Vermeil says is "serious" knee surgery later in the week. Monty Beisel was back at practice today and he will take Barber's starting spot on the weak side. Kawika Mitchell will start at middle linebacker with Scott Fujita on the strong side. Quinton Caver and rookie Keyaron Fox will also see time at linebacker in New Orleans.
The defense has been the hot topic at Arrowhead again this season as the squad continues to struggle. Tuesday, Dick Vermeil said safeties Jerome Woods and Greg Wesley needed to step up their game and today Woods responded, "Put the blame on the safeties, we're the last line of defense. Last I checked it took 11 guys to make everything work. Greg Wesley and I could probably step our play up a little bit. We all have to step it up."
The linebacking corps has been banged up all season and now that Barber is out for season, Monty Beisel takes Barber's weak side spot. Beisel will play his third different linebacker position this season and prefers to play in the middle, "Basically we're just trying to get the best three linebackers on the field and if that means moving me to the outside, that's what I have to do".
The injury to Priest Holmes may seem devastating to most Chiefs fans, but don't tell that Left Guard Brian Waters, who's focused on creating big running lanes for Derrick Blaylock and Larry Johnson, " We're not going to take a play off or over-emphasize a play because Priest is not behind us. We've go to learn how to play in front of his backups. We have to learn their strengths and weaknesses. Come Sunday, it will be more natural. We have to know those guys like we know Priest."
I know one thing neither Derrick Blaylock nor Larry Johnson are half the Running Backs Priest Holmes is on a bad knee.
I also had the chance to catch up with third-string Running Back Larry Johnson today. He continues to appear depressed and confused about his role on the team. I reminded him that Priest Homes played behind Jamal Lewis in Baltimore, but it only seemed to irritate the second-year pro out of Penn State.
" I haven't gotten the respect yet to become a starting player even when a guy goes down. I'm still a number three. It's an ongoing battle as far as where I am on the depth chart."
As much as I like to talking to Larry Johnson because he seems to be a good person and an even better quote, it's time for someone on the team to shut him up.