Chiefs' defensive concerns mount

September, 6, 2012
9/06/12
1:55
PM ET
The Kansas City Chiefs are dealing with another injury on defense.

The Kansas City Star reported that starting linebacker Jovan Belcher is not practicing Thursday because of a sore groin. He is being replaced at practice by Brandon Siler, who missed all of last season with an Achilles injury.

Belcher is yet another Kansas City defender who is banged up heading into the season opener against visiting Atlanta on Sunday. Among the other injured players are safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder), cornerback Brandon Flowers (foot) and linebacker Derrick Johnson (ankle). Flowers and Johnson are hopeful of playing Sunday, while Lewis is likely out.

Defensive tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle) also may not play. Plus, star pass-rusher Tamba Hali is serving a one-game NFL suspension. Thus, another injury on defense is the last thing the team needed.

In other AFC West news:

The Raiders confirmed the signing of receiver Derek Hagan. He tweeted that he signed with the team late Wednesday night. He provides depth for a unit that is banged up. Hagan spent a couple of months with Oakland last season. Cornerback Coye Francies, claimed off waivers last week, was waived to make room for Hagan.

Rap star Ice Cube, a huge Raiders fan, will perform inside the stadium before the Raiders-Chargers game on Monday night.

In an Insider piece, ESPN quarterback guru Ron Jawkorski wrote that when he studied film of Peyton Manning’s preseason performance in Denver, he was ”wowed” and he saw a quarterback in his primeInsider.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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