Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith suffered an injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. He was able to finish the game and actually showed up to practice in the days following the game.
But sometime in between Smith’s last practice on Wednesday and Friday, the Pro Bowl quarterback was diagnosed with a lacerated spleen and has been ruled out of the team’s all-important Week 17 matchup against the San Diego Chargers.
Generally [lacerated spleens] take six weeks [to heal] but everybody is different,” Chiefs trainer Rick Burholder had to say about the injury, via ESPN. “He’s a young, healthy guy that’s got a high metabolism. If we’re playing three, four weeks from now, we’ll rescan him and see where he’s at.
This injury means that former Missouri standout Chase Daniel will get the start Sunday against the Chargers, a game Kansas City must win in order to have a shot at the postseason. Daniel has one NFL start to his name in five seasons. He was originally a member of the New Orleans Saints before signing a free-agent contract with Kansas City prior to the start of the 2013 season.
Kansas City needs a win and losses by the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans in order to back its way into the playoffs. With Smith out, that seems highly unlikely.