Injuries: Chiefs expect Alex Smith (head, ear) to return

By Nick Shook
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Less than 24 hours after eking out a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Kansas City Chiefs have even more reason for encouragement.

Coach Andy Reid said Monday that quarterback Alex Smith (head, ear) should be back and available to play in Week 10 against the Carolina Panthers, “as long as there are no setbacks.”

Kansas City’s offense was disjointed for much of its victory over Jacksonville. Backup quarterback Nick Foles reverted to his unreliable ways, completing 20 of 33 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown, but was often dangerously inaccurate. Smith’s return comes at the perfect time, as the Chiefs gear up to face Carolina’s multiple-look defensive front. The quarterback thrives in the short passing game, which will be important against the Panthers‘ rush, which comes from many angles.

The Chiefs might have to forge onward through another week without running back Spencer Ware, who remains in the concussion protocol, as far as Reid knows. Reid also said that linebacker Justin Houston, recently activated off the PUP list, will let the coach know how he feels for the game against Carolina.

Other injuries we’re tracking on Monday:

1. Giants coach Ben McAdoo said guard Justin Pugh has a knee sprain and “will miss a little bit of time,” which NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported will be three to four weeks. Wide receiverVictor Cruz (ankle) is set to undergo an MRI Monday.

2. Bills running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) is expected to play Monday night versus the Seattle Seahawks,Rapoport reported.

3. Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe suffered a hairline fracture in his elbowand could miss a month.

4. Redskins tight end Derek Carrier (knee) is back at Redskins practice, opening his 21-day window to be activated off the PUP list.

5. Bears receiver Marquess Wilson (foot) returned to practice Monday, also starting his 21-day period to be activated or placed on injured reserve.

6. Buccaneers running back Antone Smith (knee) and defensive end Howard Jones (knee) have been placed on injured reserve, the team announced.

7. Titans rookie running back Derrick Henry suffered a strained calf during Sunday’s loss to theChargers, coach Mike Mularkey said. He could miss up to two weeks, Mularkey added.

8. Chargers coach Mike McCoy said guard Orlando Franklin remains in concussion protocol after he left Sunday’s game against the Titans in the second half.

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