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.
Kareem Hunt will be the regular featured back for the Chiefs in Spencer Ware's absence, coach Andy Reid confirmed. "He'd be the next man up," Reid said. The other two backs, Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller, may also get some work.
The Chiefs have not given a timetable for Ware's return; however, if he avoids surgery on his PCL, it would likely be in the 4-6 week range, reportedly. For drafts this weekend though, we have moved Kareem Hunt up significantly. It's hard to estimate where his ADP will land now, but we'd guess Hunt doesn't escape the 5th round. That would be appropriate as he's solidly an RB2 now with plus ability in the passing game too.
The lack of Chiefs running success didn’t escape coach Andy Reid, who indicated the Chiefs would work harder to establish the run in their next preseason game on Saturday night against the Bengals in Cincinnati.
“We came in with the thought we wanted to throw the ball and get the quarterbacks some work in there since all four were going to play in this game,’’ Reid said of the 49ers game. “We got that part accomplished, but it took away from the run game a little bit. We saw enough from Spencer Ware and his ability to catch the football and run the football. We probably need to see a little more from Kareem Hunt and Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller and Devine Redding down the way here.
“We’ll get that taken care of.’’
From the look of things in late March, it doesn’t appear the Chiefs will have a player get to 1,000 yards rushing next season either. Their featured-back role could be split between Spencer Ware, a soon-to-be-acquired rookie and perhaps either Charcandrick West or recently signed veteran C.J. Spiller.
The story was mainly about the author feeling the team shouldn't give up on Ware, despite his struggles over the second half after a concussion. It seems pretty likely the Chiefs will be drafting a running back who could make an immediate impact so it looks as if this backfield will need to be sorted out from a fantasy angle. Right now we have Ware ranked 15th so there's still RB2 value.
Coach Todd Bowles says Tuesday, a day after a 41-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, he has not yet decided how he will fill the two vacant spots on the active roster.
Apparently, New York was in talks with Spiller already but hadn't confirmed the deal completely, and wanted to make sure they didn't miss out on Davis if he cleared waivers. (Or, alternately, they used Davis as a potential bluff on Spiller accepting their contract terms.) So the Jets claimed Davis and then waived him after locking down Spiller to a deal, which will probably be processed on the NFL transaction wire Wednesday.
Sunday, October 23, 2016, 7:57pm
I’m told RB C.J. Spiller has agreed to terms with the #Seahawks. Great landing spot for the former first-round pick.
Related players: Christine Michael
Being a healthy scratch for the first regular season game this past Sunday was not a good sign for C.J. Spiller.
It now makes even more sense, as the New Orleans Saints have reportedly cut the back after a little over one year in the Big Easy.
Spiller was brought in by the Saints before the 2015 season on a four-year, $16 million deal and was mightily disappointing. He averaged just 3.1 yards per carry on 36 attempts. He also accumulated 236 yards receiving along with two touchdowns. The move shows that the Saints are confident in their depth at running back. Mark Ingram is the starter, Tim Hightower is backing him up, and Travaris Cadet did a great job in Week 1.
The New Orleans Saints are known for their high-powered passing attack. But their running back corps is the deepest it's been in years.
Mark Ingram is the clear bell cow. Behind him, the Saints have a variety of role players. Veterans C.J. Spiller and Travaris Cadet and emerging second-year man Marcus Murphy are competing for the satellite back role in the nickel and two-minute offense. Tim Hightower might be the best pure runner on the roster. And versatile rookie Daniel Lasco is a jack-of-all-trades type.
The group features a little something for everyone the story said. At this point, it's too early to say which way the Saints will go. Injury and attrition could solve the problem before final cuts. But if everything remains the same, the Saints are going to have a difficult decision to make at running back. This is only speculation on our part, but Cadet, Spiller and Murphy seem to be the same type of back and it's likely the team won't keep all three. Hightower would seem to be a lock as a reliable backup to Ingram, proving that last year.
Friday, July 29, 2016, 6:08pm
"You're going to see that take place with a few of the other veteran guys," Payton said after Friday's practice. "He'll go again tomorrow. We're just being smart with a couple veteran guys."
Given the fact that Ingram has missed 12 games over the last three years due to injury, Hightower is one of our favorite late-round attrition plays. Hightower averaged 24.0 touches for 114 yards and 1.0 TD over the final four games last year with Ingram sidelined.
Monday, July 11, 2016, 5:54pm
Asked if a reunion could be in the works for this off season, Payton said it was not likely.
"I don't know if our roster is going to allow for that right now," he said.
"It almost happened a year ago," Payton said. "We actually had dinner out here. It got close and never finalized itself. I'm sure he's going to play this year."
Spiller may be more involved this year, but it doesn't look like he's going to take a Darren Sproles-type role in the offense. We would use Hightower as the handcuff to Ingram given the way the veteran finished the season. Hightower averaged 24.0 touches for 114 yards and 1.0 TD over the final four games last year.
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