Injuries are a part of the game of football. You can’t argue that, of the four major American professional sports, the NFL is the most physical. Luckily for the Kansas City Chiefs, they were the least affected by the injury bug in the 2021 season.

As for teams like the New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens, they weren’t as fortunate.

According to ScienceDirect, there are 3,025 injuries reported on average every year in the NFL. 19% of those injuries happen in weeks 1-4, and 53% percent happen in the preseason.

All of this is to say, injuries happen, especially in the NFL. So, it is always fine to stay prepared, barring something happening.

While the Chiefs were very fortunate last year, it could be the complete opposite this upcoming year. But, Kansas City will be prepared, as they have a backup who can make an impact.

Chiefs’ Darian Kinnard can start if there are any injuries

The Chiefs had injury problems with their offensive line in 2020 before they had a whole revamp of that group. Mitchell Schwartz played only six games in 2020, and Eric Fisher missed the Super Bowl against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That is only half of the story.

Last year, there was only one starter on the offensive line who missed some time. Andrew Wylie played 13 games, while every other starter up front played at least 16.

If there is a situation where players are injured up front, Darian Kinnard can play, and possibly make an impact.

The Chiefs took Kinnard out of Kentucky in this past draft, with the second pick in the fifth round. While he will start his career as a backup, NFL Next Gen Stats predicted that he will be an average starter at some point in his career.

Kinnard will backup second-year tackle Trey Smith, according to ESPN’s depth-chart projection. Smith played every game of last season, but, he did struggle with some health issues in college. Smith played just 23 games at Tennessee due to blood clots in his lungs. If anything were to happen, and we hope nothing does, Kinnard would be the next man up.

Kinnard can also play other positions, as was talked about by Brett Veach after the draft. If needed, he can also slide in anywhere else if there are some injuries.

The 6’5” tackle was a predicted third-round pick by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. That is just another sample of the Chiefs getting great value through the draft. With Kinnard’s height,  weight, wingspan, and collegiate pedigree, he can make an impact if needed for the Chiefs.

Hopefully, we don’t need to see Kinnard, because that means unfortunate circumstances happened. However, if we do, he can likely be huge for this team.

Features Image Credit Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports