‘Next man up’ continues with Chiefs

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Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO; Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO; Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs’ string of bad luck with injuries endures another week.

Two All-Pro selections, running back Jamaal Charles and strong safety Eric Berry, left Sunday’s 24-14 loss to the Denver Broncos with ankle sprains, severity unknown.

“They’ll have X-rays tomorrow,” coach Andy Reid told reporters during his postgame media session.

Compounding the current injuries is recent history.

Berry missed the entire preseason dealing with a right heel injury, and Charles suffered a foot injury while moving out of the training camp dorm room in St. Joseph, Mo., that caused him to miss the second preseason game.

Of course, the team already has inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, defensive end Mike DeVito and offensive lineman Jeff Allen out for the year.

“We have a few injuries,” Reid told reporters, “but we don’t slow down on that. We know they’re good football players, we’ve got it. We also know we have some good football players that are playing behind them.”

Still, any lost time from Charles and Berry is sure to affect a Chiefs team currently stung by an 0-2 record just a year removed from starting the 2013 season at 9-0.

Second-year pro Knile Davis took Charles’ place, while fourth-year pro Ron Parker took Berry’s place in the lineup.

Both players played well, with Parker leading the Chiefs in tackles with seven solo tackles and Davis totaled 105 yards (79 rushing) and two touchdowns.

But Parker, a converted college free safety, has big shoes to fill if he’s thrust in the starting lineup should Berry miss time.

“That’s a very big loss,” outside linebacker Justin Houston told reporters in the locker room on losing Berry. “He’s a leader of the defense; he keeps everybody going and takes care of everything in the secondary. So, that was a very big loss, but the next guy has to step up, that’s the name of the game in football.”

Meanwhile, the Chiefs may lose Charles’ explosiveness, but Davis proved late last season and during the playoffs he can carry the load if called upon.

The Chiefs have some plays specifically designed for Charles, but may not have to tweak the overall game plan if Davis has to fill in for the short-term.

And Davis told reporters in the locker room after the game he’s comfortable with the offensive system based on watching Charles.

“When I go in I know my job has been all week to pay attention to what Jamaal does,” Davis said. “I’ve been doing good film study, watching him and what he does so if unfortunately he went down I would be able to step in and help out.”

Stepping in when given the opportunity is a part of the NFL life where the cliché of being one hit away from an injury has held true with the Chiefs through two games.

And as always, the next person in line is relied upon to hold the fort down.

“You have to prepare like you never know what is going to happen because the NFL is a crazy game,” Parker told reporters in the locker room after the game. “You might be (injured) one week and then be the superstar the next week. So, you just have to be ready for anything at all times.”