Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Tamba Hali is suspended for Kansas City's season opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
Last week, Kendrick Lewis injured the same injury-prone shoulder that nagged him throughout 2011. Although it won't require surgery (ESPN), the Chiefs safety will be sidelined indefinitely.
Brandon Flowers has been diagnosed with a heel "bruise," according to head coach Romeo Crennel (CBS Sports). It's a bruise. Flowers is a football player—an aggressive, hard-nosed one at that. Nothing to sweat, right? Wrong. The cornerback has not returned to the lineup since being carted off of the practice field on July 31.
The pair of secondary starters, Lewis and Flowers, will not suit up Friday night. But, Flowers will likely return sooner than later, and Lewis should infiltrate the rotation again at some point this season.
Even though Hali will jog out onto the playing field against the Seahawks, fans can expect to see a healthy dose of his backup Andy Studebaker. With the regular season just weeks away, Crennel will look to groom Studebaker for the role he will attempt to tackle in Week 1.
And, that's not all.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson will also make his starting debut tonight.
If he picks Chiefs defenders apart, it could be attributed to a diminished pass rush (assuming Hali's role is limited) and a crippled secondary. Likewise, if Kansas City's defense imposes its will on the youngster, don't be "that guy" who comments that Justin Houston is the second coming of Derrick Thomas.
Not all opposing quarterbacks will be first-time starters operating through screams loud enough to put a librarian on suicide watch—a.k.a. Arrowhead Stadium.