Chiefs’ Bowe cleared to play; Fisher hurts groin
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was cleared to play in Saturday’s wild-card playoff game against Indianapolis after sustaining a concussion, though the status of linebacker Tamba Hali and right tackle Eric Fisher remains uncertain.
Fisher hurt his groin near the end of Tuesday’s practice, while Hali has been dealing with some swelling in his knee. Neither of them participated fully in Wednesday’s workout.
Bowe sustained his concussion in a loss to the Colts two weeks ago at Arrowhead Stadium. He was hit in the neck area late in the game by LaRon Landry, and even though he finished the game and even attended a practice the next week, Bowe said he never quite felt right.
He was diagnosed with a concussion and sat out last week’s overtime loss at San Diego, when the Chiefs – assured of their playoff seed – chose to rest many of their starters.
“I’m fine, you know. Just had a little minor headache,” Bowe said Wednesday. “I didn’t feel as bad as some guys felt. I just felt tired. So I got some rest and I’m ready to go.”
Bowe, who signed a $56 million, five-year deal in the offseason, is second on the team behind running back Jamaal Charles with 57 catches for 673 yards and five touchdowns this season.
“I’m just ready to go,” he said. “Big-time players want to make big-time plays in big-time games. These are the games you have to show up. Everything on the line.”
While the Chiefs had not yet ruled out Fisher for Saturday’s game, it appeared Donald Stephenson was preparing to start for the seventh time this season.
Stephenson made three starts while Fisher was dealing with a shoulder injury, and has started the last four games at right tackle while Branden Albert was out with a hyperextended knee.
“That was my goal this offseason, just be one of the five best blockers,” Stephenson said. “I worked on that and I treated myself as if I was a starter and it’s paid off for me.”
Albert will be back in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 1, when he hurt his knee against the Broncos. He said he could have played last week, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid decided it wasn’t worth risking another injury simply to knock off some rust.
“Whatever coach decided, I was with,” Albert said. “I told him and told the rest of the team that I was going to prepare to play. Now it’s time to move on from that. I’m playing.”
So is linebacker Justin Houston, who missed the final five games of the regular season after dislocating his right elbow. He’s been fitted for the same kind of brace that the Texans’ J.J. Watt wears to stabilize his elbow and said he’ll be ready to go against Indianapolis.
“The first two days it took some time to get used to. After that, it was OK. I’ve got all my movement back,” Houston said. “It was very frustrating, but as long as we were winning, I was happy with it. I know everybody has their own personal goals, but the team goals are more important and we’re still on that journey.”