Observation deck: Chiefs-Packers

August, 30, 2012
8/30/12
11:50
PM ET
A look at the Chiefs’ 24-3 loss at Green Bay:

If I owned an NFL team, I don’t think I’d meddle much. But I’d have one mandate: Do not play starters in the fourth preseason game.

That used to be a universal feeling in the NFL. But in recent years, teams have seemed to use starter some in the final preseason game.

Frankly, it is unnecessary and way too risky. And yes, it may have just bitten the Kansas City Chiefs. Again.

Last year, in the preseason finale, standout tight end Tony Moeaki suffered a season-ending knee injury. Thursday night, the Kansas City Star reported star linebacker Derrick Johnson may have suffered a significant ankle injury. Wow. Even if it is a minor ankle injury, Johnson may not be ready for Week 1 against Atlanta.

What a waste. Johnson didn’t need to play in this game.

Now, there is a chance the Chiefs could be without Johnson, cornerback Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis (they are both injured) and linebacker Tamba Hali serving a one-game NFL suspension) in that game. Good luck, Chiefs.

For a team that was hoping to bounce back from an injury-riddled season in 2011, it seems like Kansas City, is at least, starting the 2012 season with injury issues.

It doesn’t stop on defense. The Kansas City Star reports backup quarterback Brady Quinn could have a significant injury as well. Quinn just beat out Ricky Stanzi for the backup job. If Quinn is going to miss major time, I’d think the Chiefs would pursue a backup quarterback. One option could be David Garrard, if he doesn’t make the Dolphins’ roster.

The Chiefs’ first-team offense and defense played sparingly and led the Packers’ starters after the first quarter.

The Packers led 14-3 at the half, so their backups are probably a little further ahead of the Chiefs’ reserves. No biggie.

Kansas City running back Peyton Hillis highlighted the starting lineups as he rumbled for 46 yards on six carries. Hillis looks ready for the start of the season.

Running back Nate Eachus made a great final push for a roster spot with 99 yards on 21 carries. He was terrific all summer. As a team, Kansas City ran well with 247 yards.

Cornerbacks Stanford Routt and Jacques Reeves stayed on the field after the rest of the Kansas City starting defenders left. Reeves could play extensively in Week 1 if Flowers and Jalil Brown are still injured.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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