Chiefs running back Spencer Ware’s season is likely over.
On Sunday, Chiefs head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said Ware sustained a torn posterior cruciate ligament and damaged the posterior lateral corner of his right knee, which likely will require surgery.
“He damaged those and at this point in time, our medical staff believes that he needs season-ending surgery to correct that problem,” Burkholder said. “But like with all these significant injuries, we’ll exhaust all of our options and look at second opinions and then do what’s best for Spencer’s knee and his career.”
Despite the sliver of optimism Burkholder left regarding Ware’s chances of returning — he will have second opinions — Ware will miss several games. That means the starter for now is third-round rookie Kareem Hunt, coach Andy Reid said.
“I think we’re going to be OK there,” Reid said. “Now, are we going to replace Spence? No. I mean, he’s a good football player. But the young kid (Kareem Hunt), he’ll step in and he’ll do a nice job for us.”
As the story mentions, there's a "sliver of optimism" but owners can confidently draft Kareem Hunt as the Chiefs' starter. The team gave Hunt an extended look with the starters against the Bengals, and he looked the part. Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller will get some snaps, but all indications are that it's Hunt's job to lose. He can be drafted comfortably in the 4th round of 12-team drafts and more aggressive owners can target him in the 3rd round, where there's a swoon in reliable talent at running back and receiver. Remember, in 17 games where Ware saw at least 10 carries – 13 of those games occurred in 2016 – he averaged 17.9 touches for 99 yards and 0.59 touchdowns, or 15.5 fantasy points per game in PPR formats. Those numbers would have extrapolated to No. 8 running back numbers in 2016. This is the sort of upside that Hunt has as the lead back.