Tamba Hali, Justin Houston hurt

Updated: November 25, 2013, 11:07 AM ET
By Adam Teicher | ESPN.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs weren't definitive after their 41-38 loss to the San Diego Chargers about how long they would play without their two injured pass rushers, outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.

But it sounded like they were settling in to play without them in next Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos and beyond.

[+] EnlargeTamba Hali
AP Photo/Ed ZurgaThe Chiefs' Tamba Hali, who has nine sacks this year, left Sunday's game with an ankle injury.

"We've got to make it work," cornerback Brandon Flowers said. "We get paid to win games. The coaches get paid to put the players (filling in) in position to make plays. It's going to be hard to adjust to the caliber of players they are but we've got to make it happen.

"We're good but we've got to bounce back. That's two losses, two in a row. We've got a tough opponent coming in here next week. It's a big game. We've got to get a win."

Hali and Houston left Sunday's game in the first half -- Hali with an injured ankle and Houston with a sprained elbow. Neither one returned. Both players were scheduled for Monday MRIs.

The Chiefs led 7-3 in the second quarter when Hali left the game, and 14-3 in the same period when Houston departed. The Chargers went on to score a season high in points against the Chiefs, who sacked San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers just once.

"We're making no excuses," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "The next guys come in and we expect them to step up and make plays."

Hali was replaced by veteran Frank Zombo, who was signed as a free agent this year from the Green Bay Packers. Houston was replaced by Dezman Moses, who was claimed off waivers from the Packers at the start of the regular season. Houston entered Sunday's game with 11 sacks. Hali has nine.

Hali needed two more sacks to pass Art Still (73) for the third most in franchise history.

The Chiefs, who had been healthy most of the season, already were playing without starting defensive tackle Mike DeVito because of a knee injury. Allen Bailey replaced him in the lineup.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Adam Teicher

ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter

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