Monday notebook: Too early to lock on Denver

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs weekly schedule doesn’t normally include a Monday locker room media session following coach Andy Reid’s presser.

But a rare instance occurred this week with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Nov 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid (left) talks to quarterback Alex Smith (11) during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid (left) talks to quarterback Alex Smith (11) during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While the player availability was relatively sparse due to ongoing team meetings, a few players did come through and the Denver Broncos appeared to be a favorite subject to inquire about.

Still, the players were focused on fixing the issues from Week 12’s loss to the San Diego Chargers.

“We really haven’t started to focus on Denver yet,” defensive end Tyson Jackson said. “We’re trying to finish clearing things up from the San Diego game, see where we messed up at and try to correct some of those negative plays.”

Offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, who drew the start Sunday at right guard in place of an injured Jon Asamoah (shoulder), echoed Jackson.

“It’s Monday, it’s early, we just got done with the Chargers film,” Schwartz said. “I’m sure as the week goes on, it will build up.”

Meanwhile, offensive lineman Donald Stephenson did take a moment to reflect on the second meeting against the Broncos when a reporter asked about what the team took from the Week 11 loss.

Stephenson, who started Week 12 at right tackle in place of Eric Fisher (shoulder), said it boiled down to corrected errors from the previous game.

“It’s still fresh in our minds, we should be able to fix the mistakes we had last time,” Stephenson said. “It helps playing them two weeks ago. Just like them, they have a lot of things fresh in their minds, too. It’s going to be a good game.”

Next man up

The big news Monday out of the Chiefs training facility surrounding the respective status of outside linebackers Tamba Hali (ankle) and Justin Houston (elbow).

Coach Andy Reid provided updates on both players during his media session where he said Hali is doing better Monday than he was following Sunday’s game, while the swelling in Houston’s elbow prevented an MRI.

Defensive end Tyson Jackson said injuries are part of the playing in the NFL and the Chiefs aren’t different.

Jackson adds players will need to rise to the occasion if called upon.

“I think the good thing about it is everybody in the NFL goes through the same thing,” Jackson said. “So we all just got to step our game up a little bit more, but continue to stay within the defense and continue to execute.”

Linebacker Dezman Moses, who filled in Sunday for Houston, could continue to see an expanded role if Hali and Houston can’t play Sunday.

A second-year pro out of Tulane, Moses spent the 2012 season with the Green Bay Packers where he notched 12 tackles, 12 assists and four sacks in five starts in place of a then-injured Clay Matthews.

Moses said he didn’t feel additional pressure and understood what he needs to do if he’s thrust into action.

“That’s my job as a backup,” Moses said. “When one of those guys go down – unfortunately – you got to be able to come in and be prepared to be able to do your thing.”

The other player who could see a role is fourth-year pro Frank Zombo, who also joined the Chiefs during the offseason from the Packers and played on Green Bay’s 2010 Super Bowl-winning team.

Reid said Zombo, who replaced Hali Sunday and would get the first shot over Moses, can play either side if called upon.

“He’s had to do that at Green Bay where he filled in and he did a nice job,” Reid said of Zombo’s ability to play both outside linebacker positions. “You saw the hurry that he had yesterday and the pass rush ability. He’s consistent; he’s a smart kid. He’s a consistent player.”

Zombo finished Sunday’s game with two tackles, while Moses recorded one tackle.

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