The defensive line of the Kansas City Chiefs is in need of some TLC. Both of the Chiefs’ starting defensive ends were held out of practice on Wednesday and are questionable going into Sunday’s divisional contest with the San Diego Chargers.
Left DE Tyson Jackson is suffering from an abdominal strain. Jackson has 24 tackles and two sacks for the Chiefs 12th ranked overall defense this season. In Kansas City’s 3-4 defensive scheme, he has been personally responsible for 24 percent of the D-line’s tackles and 24 percent of their sacks.
Right DE Mike Devito, who has a knee injury, has taken down 21 runners for 21 percent of the Chiefs’ defensive tackle production against the run, which is essentially what an end is in a 3-4 defense; he has no sacks.
Nose tackle Dontari Poe has been the most effective in the Chiefs’ defensive trenches with 39 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Defensive ends Allen Bailey and Mike Catapano have also combined for 13 tackles and two sacks.
Reliever NT Anthony Toribio had contributed five tackles before being let go on Wednesday. Second year player, DT Jaye Howard, has played in three career games, but you’ll find zeros all the way across his stat line after that.
Like I said, Kansas City’s defensive front could use some “love,” and that’s what they’ve found. They released Toribio to make room for DT Kyle Love. The undrafted three-year veteran has 65 career tackles, 5.5 sacks, and started for the undefeated New England Patriots in their Super Bowl XLVI loss to the New York Giants.
With the possibility of the Chiefs having almost half of the defensive line’s tackling, and one-quarter of their sack production sitting in the hot tub on Sunday against San Diego, Kansas City is hoping “Dr. Love” knows how to crack some backs.
In a tender, caring, way of course.
Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia.