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Chiefs' Alex Smith out with lacerated spleen vs. Bolts

The Kansas City Chiefs will enter their Week 17 matchup against the San Diego Chargers with their dim playoff hopes taking another hit.

Team trainer Rick Buckholder told reporters that quarterback Alex Smith has a lacerated spleen and will not play Sunday.

Smith took a shot to the abdomen in last week's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The quarterback didn't feel right, but practiced earlier this week before the laceration was detected.

"It certainly wasn't something that prohibited me athletically, I didn't feel like it was muscular, just discomfort," Smith said Friday. "Nausea coming and going, I knew a bug was going around, I thought maybe it was that. I practiced both days, I felt great athletically running around and throwing. I had this constant deal going on and then doc urged me to go get the test. I was pretty reluctant yesterday. I said I was alright and they pushed me to get checked out and I got the call that I had the laceration on there and it was enlarged."

Chase Daniel will make his second start of his career. Oddly enough the six-year backup's previous start also came against the Chargers, in Week 17 of 2013.

The Chargers can make the postseason in back-to-back seasons by beating Daniel both times.

In last season's finale, Daniel went 21-of-30 passing (70 percent) for 200 yards and one touchdown pass in the 27-24 loss to San Diego.

The Chiefs need to knock off the Chargers and have the Ravens and Texans lose to make the postseason.

Even before the injury to Smith, we expected the Chiefs to rely on Jamaal Charles and the running game against a limp Chargers run defense that has allowed 100-plus rushing yards in eight of the last 10 games. That ground game will be magnified even more now.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the biggest matchups in Week 17 and makes its picks for the last week of the season. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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