[Topeka Capital-Journal] Defensive tackle John Browning missed a third straight day of practice Thursday and might not be available when Kansas City faces LaDainian Tomlinson and the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
The Chiefs aren’t reluctant to express their concern. Especially given the role Browning has played in their eighth-ranked rushing defense this year.
“He’s consistently been our most valuable defensive lineman since I’ve been here,” coach Dick Vermeil said Thursday. “When he’s healthy he plays his position extremely well, and he can play all four positions.”
“I don’t think he’s ever received the kind of credit he deserves for being the kind of player he is because he hasn’t been on an outstanding defense.”
If Browning can’t go, the Chiefs — already playing without injured starting defensive tackle Ryan Sims — would have to pair tackle Lional Dalton with untested tackles Junior Siavii or Jimmy Wilkerson, a converted defensive end.
Another option given the dearth of defensive tackles would be to play more 3-4 defense, an option that is not as strong against Tomlinson and the Chargers’ running game, but might be helpful in dealing with San Diego tight end Antonio Gates.