Linebacker Dee Ford leads a list of nine Chiefs landing alternate spots to this year’s AFC Pro Bowl team in addition to the four players named to the team earlier this week. The alternates stand ready to step in for injured players or players from Super Bowl teams.
The alternates include quarterback Alex Smith and tackle Eric Fisher on offense. Defensive tackle Dontari Poe and linebackers Dee Ford and Justin Houston also earned honors. Special teams alternatives include punter Dustin Colquitt, Cairo Santos and D.J. Alexander.
Linebacker Derrick Johnson also earned an alternate spot, but will be unable to participate due to his torn Achilles tendon.
They join Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, tight end Travis Kelce, cornerback Marcus Peters and return specialist Tyreek Hill already named to the team.
Kelce made waves after the Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans when he suggested the team’s play calling may have been too conservative.
Kelce explained he was responding to a question about the difference in the offense’s performance from the first half to the second half.
“There are times that you want to be able to run the clock out,” Kelce said. “We have an awesome running game with Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West back there running the ball downhill.”
Kelce said his emotions got to him.
“It was a frustrating game to lose,” Kelce said. “It was one of those things where I reacted a certain way in which I shouldn’t have. This is a team game. I just want to go out there and win for everybody on this team.”
BRONCOS DON’T DWELL ON MILE HIGH LOSS
The overtime thriller on Sunday Night Football between the Chiefs and Broncos ranks as one of the NFL’s best games of the season, but the game holds less legendary status for Broncos coach Gary Kubiak.
“We really don’t talk about that one too much, we can’t do anything about it,” Kubiak said. “We had opportunities to make plays and get it done and you guys got it done and we didn’t.”
Kubiak places all the emphasis on this Sunday’s game, with the Broncos playoff hopes hanging by a thread.
This challenge coming in there playing in front of the great fans there at Arrowhead,” Kubiak said, “how tough it is to play so we really try to stay focused on the next opportunity and not get too concerned with the one that maybe we lost out on.”
FOCUS SHIFTS TO KELCE AND HILL
Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said the return of Jeremy Maclin to the Chiefs line up adds speed to the team’s passing game, but he says the team’s offense runs through two other passing targets.
“The offense runs through Kelce,” Harris said. “I’ll say it right now — it runs through Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.”
Harris said he sees specific packages the Chiefs run especially for Hill
“They’ve got screen passes, they give him the ball in handoff situations, they’ve got wildcat packages and they’re trying to get him the ball now in addition to Kelce,” Harris said.
But he says Maclin still has a role for the Chiefs.
“He has pretty good speed and he has a great feel for Andy Reid’s offense,” Harris said. “He’s been in the system for a while. He knows it well, knows the wrinkles, the open spots and where to get. He’s a good receiver.”