KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Justin Houston’s return to practice for the Chiefs provided a highlight for the team, but season-ending injuries to two defensive starters and uncertainty with a third puts the Chiefs into shuffle mode in preparations for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
The team placed defensive lineman Allen Bailey and inside linebacker Justin-March Lillard on injured reserve Tuesday.
Bailey left Sunday’s game with a torn pectoral muscle in his right shoulder and will undergo surgery Monday, according to the team’s head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder.
March-Lillard broke the third long bone in his left hand during the game against Oakland. He under went surgery Monday.
NFL rules allow teams to designate one player per season to return after six weeks from injured reserve. The team did not immediately rule out either of the players from returning later in the season.
“Both those guys will be in treatment and rehab until we figure out when they can return,” Burkholder said.
Burkholder also said cornerback Phillip Gaines underwent an MRI and examination of the inflammation in his left knee. Gaines left Sunday’s game and missed the week four matchup at Pittsburgh after he tweaked the same knee.
“He’s day-to-day right now,” Burkholder said. “Today he won’t practice, but there’s a chance he practices tomorrow.”
Coach Andy Reid said Sam Barrington, Ramik Wilson and Sio Moore would each get a crack and filling the void left by March-Lillard alongside Derrick Johnson in the team’s standard 3-4 defense.
“What we’re going to do is kind of let them go at it,” Reid said. “Give them a shot and see what they can do.”
The Chiefs added a sixth corner back to the active roster Tuesday, promoting Terrance Mitchell from the practice squad. D.J. White likely serves as the third cornerback if Gaines cannot play.
“Really you can’t have enough of those guys,” Reid said about adding Mitchell to the roster.
Houston remains on the physically unable to perform list and not on the 53-man roster, so he does not appear on the team’s weekly injury report.
Wednesday’s injury report as released by the Chiefs:
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Did not participate in practice: CB Delvin Breaux (fibula), LB Dannell Ellerbe (quad), DT Nick Fairley (not injury related), DE Paul Kruger (back), CB Sterling Moore (abdomen), and T Andrus Peat (groin)
Limited participation: Terron Amsted (knee)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Did not participate in practice: CB Phillip Gaines (knee) and LB Tamba Hali (knee)
Limited participation: None
Full participation: T Michell Schwartz (ankle), CB Kenneth Acker (shoulder) and OL Jordan Devey (ankle)