The Kansas City Chiefs' season is slowly slipping away. The team has lost three consecutive games, and its vaunted defense hasn't been effective for more than a month. For the second consecutive week, the Chiefs lost two key players to injury. This time, the injuries came on offense.
Starting left tackle Branden Albert was carted off the field Sunday against the Denver Broncos after suffering an ugly left knee injury. Donald Stephenson moved to left tackle, with rookie Eric Fisher coming into the game at right tackle. Kansas City also lost starting tight end Anthony Fasano to a concussion.
The injury could be doubly painful because Albert, the Chiefs' franchise player, is in a contract year. Fisher does not look ready to take on a bigger role. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Albert is set to have an MRI on his knee Monday and the hope is that the left tackle dodged a bullet, per a person who spoke to Albert.
Here are the other injuries we'll be tracking this week:
1. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder left Sunday's OT win over Chicago with a concussion. Matt Cassel replaced him and led the Vikings to victory. It's hard to imagine the Vikings going back to Ponder as a starter.
2. Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden stayed in throughout Cleveland's 32-28 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he reported concussion symptoms after the game. With Jason Campbell also coming off a concussion, the Browns could be forced to start Alex Tanney next week if Weeden and Campbell are out.
5. San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley left with a knee injury early in the team's game against St. Louis, and was immediately ruled out for the rest of the contest. Staley reportedly has an MCL sprain and will have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury.