Rodney Hudson -- the center of the present and future in Kansas City -- has been lost for the season with a knee injury. The Chiefs placed Hudson on the injured reserve list Wednesday.
This blow is two-fold. One, it dramatically changes the Chiefs’ offensive line, and two, it stunts the development of a good, young player.
For the immediate future, the Chiefs will likely do what they did Sunday when Hudson got hurt. Guard Ryan Lilja moved to center and rookie Jeff Allen took his place at guard. Newly signed Russ Hochstein can challenge or give insurance to Allen at guard if this is the way the Chiefs go. The team was hoping Allen would start next year. Hochstein can also play center.
The team also signed center Bryan Mattison. He has four NFL starts. He will provide depth at center.
For Hudson, this ends a promising first year as a starter. The team was very happy with his play. Hudson will be back next year, but instead of getting a full season’s worth of experience in his second NFL season, he will be beginning his third season with just four games (he started once last year) of starting experience.
Ultimately, I think the Chiefs will survive this move because of the experience of Lilja and the insurance of Hochstein if Allen struggles.
UPDATE: Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel confirmed Wednesday that Lilja will be the starter at center and Allen will start at guard moving forward.