The Kansas City Chiefs have some major question marks along their offensive line right before the 2011 regular season begins. Ryan O'Callaghan is already out for the year on injured reserve and his competition at right tackle is now also injured, although the extent of it is yet unknown. Branden Albert now has competition at left tackle with Jared Gaither, although health is always a concern there. And neither one is suited for right tackle. Yet if that's not enough, rumors are swirling that something might be up with Ryan Lilja given his lack of playing time last night.
The word was out last night that Lilja would not be playing even though head coach Todd Haley said the Chiefs offensive core players would receive some major playing time. Second round choice Rodney Hudson took his place in the starting line-up, making Casey Wiegmann's return that much more important. Jon Asamoah is the other guard since Brian Waters was released earlier this offseason. It's a brand new line, in other words, for the Chiefs.
The assumption last night was that Lilja had an undisclosed injury and that he'd return whenever he could to his place in the starting line-up. But Scout.com put out the word that the Chiefs could add a couple of players to the offensive line before the season and that Lilja might be on the outs. If that's true, that leaves the Chiefs will no chemistry or stability in a foundational place heading into the season.
If Lilja was cut, it would easily become one of the surprise cuts that we discussed earlier today. Several teams will make them and they will defy immediate logic, but that's part of not being on the "inside" this time of year. It's more likely that Lilja is injured and will be back as normal, but the lack of playing time last night without any explanation could insinuate that the Chiefs are shopping Lilja under the table. Likely not, but these are the types of rumors that make this weekend interesting.