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Struggling Chiefs' injuries woes keeping piling up

Struggling Chiefs' injuries woes keeping piling up

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Romeo Crennel shuffled into the small interview room, settled into a chair behind a table holding a couple of microphones, and launched into what's become his usual routine.

``All right,'' Crennel said, ``I'm going to start with our injuries.''

And with that, Crennel started the roll call.

Peyton Hillis was out with an ankle injury. Glenn Dorsey a calf injury. Jon Baldwin, Jalil Brown and Devon Wylie with hamstring troubles. Derrick Johnson a sore groin, Ropati Pitoitua an elbow injury, Kendrick Lewis an ailing shoulder and Ryan Lilja a bad back.

Just what the Chiefs (1-3) don't need heading into Sunday's game against Baltimore.

``We've got a good football team coming into town,'' Crennel said Thursday, ``I think we're probably the only ones who think we've got a chance. So we're going to work our preparation and continue our preparation to try to get it ready to play.''

The only problem is that it's hard to prepare when there are eight guys missing from practice, and a couple more who are limited. It reached the point this week that Crennel had to ponder throwing practice squad defensive end Jerome Long in with the starters for lack of able bodies.

The most loathed three letters in Kansas City these days? DNP, as in, did not participate.

``The guys who can practice will practice and the ones who are limited will be limited and we'll go from there,'' said Crennel, who also had to put tight end Kevin Boss - one of the Chiefs' main offseason acquisitions - on season-ending injured reserve this week with a head injury.

By comparison, the Ravens (3-1) had just two players on this week's injury report.

It's hard to decide which of the Chiefs' injuries are the most debilitating, which players the most difficult to replace. Six players on the report are starters, most of the rest of them key contributors, including Pitoitua, who started last Sunday's game in Dorsey's place.

Hillis hurt his ankle two weeks ago against New Orleans and hasn't practiced since, putting more of the load in the ground game on Jamaal Charles and Shaun Draughn.

Dorsey injured his left calf before last week's game against San Diego, the game in which Pitoitua got hurt. Johnson has been dealing with a number of bumps and bruises this season, but the Pro Bowl linebacker's latest appears to be the most severe.

``He'll be out there in practice,'' Crennel said, ``but I don't think he's going to do much.''

Not exactly encouraging, huh?

Baldwin hurt his hamstring in practice this week, and Crennel said it would be taped and he would give it a go in Thursday's workout. Baldwin has 10 catches for 148 yards this season.

Lewis hasn't played all year after hurting his shoulder in an exhibition game at St. Louis.

Brown struggled earlier this season with a groin injury, and now he's missing time because of a hamstring. His injury robs Kansas City of some valuable depth behind Brandon Flowers, the team's best cover cornerback, who aggravated a heel injury against San Diego that had already caused him to miss most of training camp and the start of the regular season.

``He had to come out for, I think, a couple series and then he came back in and finished up,'' Crennel said before Thursday's practice. ``He was out there (Tuesday) and started off and began to feel worse, so then we took him off and let him rehab.''

Crennel doesn't know for sure whether any of the injured Chiefs players will be around for Sunday's game against Baltimore, though it's a good bet that several will try to play.

One thing is certain: The Ravens aren't going to feel sorry for them.

``We cannot feel sorry for ourselves,'' Crennel said. ``Even though we don't like it, where we are, how we got where we are, we can't feel sorry for ourselves, that woe's-me syndrome. We have to get ourselves mentally ready, because we have a good football team coming in.''

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?