Chiefs a front-runner in Andrew Luck race

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is driven off the field after being injured in a game against...

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is driven off the field after being injured in a game against the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., Sep. 18, 2011. (DAVE REGINEK/Getty Images/AFP)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:40 AM ET

TORONTO - Even before Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs bandwagon was leaking bodies like Toronto mayor Rob Ford is losing popularity.

It wasn’t so much as by the dozen as it was by the hundreds.

Sunday’s result, a 48-3 thrashing by a Detroit Lions team that is far more accustomed to being on the other side of that score, didn’t help.

But the loss of Jamaal Charles may just empty that bandwagon for good.

The Chiefs made it official late Monday afternoon following an MRI. Charles was placed on injured reserve. His 2011 season over.

Charles was one of the few skill players on the Chiefs who could swing the momentum of a game by just the way he performed.

He broke out for 1,467 yards last season and looked prime to build on that until he took a wrong step out of bounds in the first quarter of Monday’s game and felt his knee give.

This is not to suggest the Chiefs were a credible playoff contender with Charles in the lineup. The opener against Buffalo and a second beatdown Sunday in Detroit were sufficient evidence that more than just one element of this team’s game was missing.

But Charles loss is the third of three key players to go down in the past few weeks. First it was tight end Tony Moeaki, a guy who was supposed to open up the passing game along with Dwayne Bowe. They were 1-2 in receiving last year for the Chiefs with Moeaki a good piece back in second. When he tore his ACL in the final pre-season game it turned out to be just the beginning.

The Chiefs also lost — at least temporarily — the services of rookie receiver Jonathan Baldwin following an altercation with running back Thomas Jones.

The defence finally took it’s lumps in the injury department in the season opener when safety Eric Berry ruptured his own ACL. He’s done for the year as well.

Now Charles injury which combined with the 0-2 start has left very little optimism in Kansas City.

With that in mind we’ll point out potentially franchise-altering Andrew Luck will be available to the team drafting first this year. That might be all Kansas City will get out of his season.

BLOUNT'S BLUNTNESS PAYS

LeGarrette Blount is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers feature running back.

But through one game this season he didn’t feel that way.

The Bucs got down early to Detroit in Week 1 and opted to go with a hurry-up offence that worked late in the first half. The problem for Blount is he is not part of the hurry-up offence at this stage in his playing career. He is still learning the nuances of the hurry-up and is therefore left on the sidelines while Earnest Graham got the touches he normally would.

In limited use of the hurry-up that’s fine, but when the Bucs opt to go the better part of a whole half with it as they did against the Lions, their feature back is on the bench contributing nothing.

Blount pointed this out in no uncertain terms prior to the game in Minnesota. It paid off.

Once again the Bucs fell behind early but this time, Blount stayed in the game. All the did in the second half was score a pair of touchdowns including the eventual game-winner from four yards out.

The win got Tampa back to even on the season and hopefully drove home the point that nobody on the team is served when the feature running back is left to rot on the bench.

JET MAY BE GROUNDED

A high ankle sprain has the Jets considering a trip to Oakland without veteran centre Nick Mangold.

Mangold, who insists he will play Sunday when the Jets take their 2-0 record west to take on the 1-1 Raiders, suffered the injury in Sunday’s win over Jacksonville.

For Mangold the decision to sit out will not be taken lightly. He has played every game in his five years in the league.

Don’t count on an ankle sprain ending that streak if they let Mangold have his way.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick suffered a concussion Sunday night and will be monitored, prodded and checked closely for the next few days before any decision about playing in the Eagles’ next game is made. Vick’s head got whipped around and slammed into offensive lineman Todd Herremans forcing him out of the game. The Eagles aren’t saying for certain that Vick won’t play Sunday when the Eagles host the Giants, but the days of a pro team trying to downplay a concussion would appear to be long over ... Former Calgary Stampeder Brandon Browner made a huge impact on the Seattle Seahawks, so big that they gave him a starting cornerback job out of training camp. Browner had seven tackles in Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh but was targeted repeatedly in the second half by Ben Roethelisberger. That’s not a good sign for the classy Browner, who admitted after the game he had some tape to watch and some adjustments to make. When the opposition starts throwing the ball your way a lot, it’s normally because they feel you can be beaten ... Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson is likely going to be a little lighter in the pocketbook after the league reviews his hit on Jeremy Maclin during Sunday night’s win over the Eagles. Robinson led with his head, a no-no in NFL books, on the play. He was fined for a similar hit on DeSean Jackson last year. As a repeat offender he could be looking at a hefty fine by the league.


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