KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs’ early bad luck with injuries continued Friday, as another player suffered a season-ending injury.
“Jeff Allen is having surgery today on his elbow,” coach Andy Reid announced after Friday’s practice, “his bicep tendon, so he’ll be most likely out for the season.”
Less than two hours later, the Chiefs officially placed Allen on injured reserve.
The 6-4, 307-pound Allen becomes the fourth player on the Chiefs roster to be placed on injured reserve since the end of August. He suffered the injury in Week 1’s game against the Tennessee Titans.
The Chiefs are already without inside linebacker Joe Mays (wrist), who is on injured reserve with a designation for return. Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Mike DeVito suffered season-ending ruptured Achilles tendons in Week 1.
The Chiefs signed cornerback Jamell Fleming from the Baltimore Ravens practice squad to take Allen’s place on the roster.
Meanwhile, Allen moved from left guard to right tackle in place of Donald Stephenson, who is currently serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
The Chiefs will now turn to seventh-year pro Ryan Harris in Allen’s place for the Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, and likely until Stephenson returns.
“He had a good camp,” Reid said of Harris. “He’s got a little experience. Put him in, you let him go, he understands the offense and he’s a tough kid, smart, and you let him play.”
The 6-5, 302-pound Harris entered the league in 2007 out of Notre Dame as a third-round pick of the Denver Broncos. He played the past two seasons with the Houston Texans before joining the Chiefs a day before training camp.
“I’m familiar with our offense now after training camp,” Harris said Friday. “I’m confident I know what I’m doing.”
Harris also has ties with Reid. The Philadelphia Eagles signed Harris to a one-year deal in 2011 with Reid as the head coach. Harris spent training camp with the Eagles before being released on Sept. 3 after Harris underwent back surgery.
The Chiefs offensive line has undergone tweaks since training camp. The team signed Mike McGlynn a day before the preseason finale and he immediately took over at left guard with Allen moving to right tackle. The Chiefs also are starting rookie Zach Fulton at right guard.
With so many changes, there’s an obvious concern over cohesion. But Harris indicated the offensive line worked hard in recent practices.
“We’ve been doing a good job this week,” Harris said. “Just communicating a lot, getting to know each other better, these are the kinds of things that help out offensive linemen, working together. I’m confident we’ll be better than we showed last week.”