Kansas City Chiefs: Latest Updates on Training Camp Storylines

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Kansas City Chiefs: Latest Updates on Training Camp Storylines
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Image edited by Brett Gering

With training camp underway and the first preseason game just over the hill (Aug. 9), the only thing surpassing the Kansas City Chiefs' expectations is the record-setting anticipation

Roughly 4,000 red-and-gold-repping devotees filed into St. Joseph, Missouri, on Friday—smaller crowds can be found at Marlins games on dollar night—to watch camp kick off with a crowd-pleasing touchdown. 

Over the first four afternoons, pads were thrown over shoulders, contact made its debut and heart-rate monitors broke a collective sweat. 

Four storylines have dominated local news coverage. 

 

Irritating Injuries

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, training camps always serve as reminders that injuries are inevitable in football. They come with the territory. 

Fortunately, the Chiefs haven't suffered any ticker-worthy cart-offs. The only major injury came in the form of rookie Sanders Commings' broken collarbone

A number of minor tweaks and strains have appeared over the past four days, though. 

Dwayne Bowe's training camp premiere took place on the sidelines, but it was later disclosed that he was battling a respiratory virus. Bowe passed his physical and returned to the field on Sunday. 

According to The Kansas City Star, Eric Berry and Dunta Robinson were victimized by minor hamstring strains. Jeff Allen, who authored a cringeworthy rookie campaign, has battled Geoff Schwartz for the starting position at left guard. He left the field with a shoulder injury on Saturday.  

 

Rebounds and Returns

A handful of Chiefs were rendered to spectator status throughout OTAs.

Tony Moeaki was the most notable absence, but he hasn't taken a backseat to Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce throughout training camp. 

Obviously, Moeaki's placement on the depth chart will be dictated by his blocking. If he returns to his 2010 form, he could demote Kelce to third-string. Adversely, if Moeaki's surgically repaired left knee holds his effectiveness hostage, he'll find himself at the bottom of the trio. 

The return of Donnie Avery, who is no stranger to injury reports himself, also warranted its share of applause. 

Avery's 12 drops tied for the fourth-most among NFL receivers in 2012. If he becomes more efficient, it's feasible that Kansas City's newest speedster could lead the team in 20-plus-yard receptions.  

 

Bombing Run

If the past is indicative of the future, Andy Reid dreams about drag routes, and Alex Smith will be ordering ice from Costco.  

Smith slung a career-high 445 passes in 2011; Reid's Philadelphia Eagles attempted 618 last season. 

The Chiefs didn't carry out a single rushing play throughout the first two days of camp.

Does that hold any weight in the grand scheme of the offense? Probably not. The passing overload cranked up the tempo and set the tone—it established a baseline of conditioning expectations for the players. 

A home run hitting All-Pro like Jamaal Charles will receive a healthy dosage of carries. That being said, injecting a West Coast offense with one of the NFL's most efficient quarterbacks won't cure an aerial addict like Reid, though. 

 

Position Predictions

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Whenever an incoming regime spring-cleans the roster, training camp will serve as host to a multitude of position battles. 

As touched upon earlier, Tony Moeaki is splitting first-team reps with Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce. Meanwhile, Geoff Schwartz is filling in for Jeff Allen, who is out indefinitely, at left guard. 

While there has been chatter of Donnie Avery supplanting Jon Baldwin as the No. 2 receiver, that hasn't been the case throughout camp. 

Also, professional experience seems to be edging out schematic experience at strong-side linebacker. 

If Akeem Jordan continues to fend off Nico Johnson, it will likely trace back to Johnson's liabilities in coverage.  

Finally, no update would be complete without mentioning Tyler Bray and Ricky Stanzi. 

Assuming the trend continues, the only red and white Stanzi reps on Sundays will be his NASCAR sponsors.

 

Statistics provided by Pro Football Focus (subscription required). 

 

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