Kansas City Chiefs Wild Card Round Injury Report — Donovan Smith Questionable

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The Kansas City Chiefs path to the postseason this time around wasn’t as clean sailing as it had been in previous years. The team did win the AFC West for an eighth consecutive season, but the offense faced previously unprecedented issues in the Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid era. It slumped to just 21.8 points scored per game, struggling with a below-par offensive line and receiving game. However, the defense cemented itself as one of the elite units in the league, allowing just 289.8 yards and 17.3 points per game, both the second-lowest marks in the NFL.

The defense will need to step up against the Miami Dolphins offense, one of the league’s best, on Saturday as the two teams go toe-to-toe in a rematch of Week 9 (a 21-14 Chiefs victory). Miami’s offense can create big plays at any moment, but the defense has suffered a litany of injuries. 

You can stream the game on Peacock, with kickoff at 8 p.m. ET.

Kansas City Chiefs wild card round injury report

Player Pos Position Injury Status Snaps/g Snaps Per Game Comment
Charles Omenihu DE Knee Out 0 Omenihu is recovering from a torn ACL and will miss the start of the 2024-25 season.

Potential key missing players

Donovan Smith

The Chiefs offensive line has struggled in 2023, but matters could be worse if left tackle Donovan Smith misses the wild card matchup against the Dolphins. Smith’s 9.1% pressure rate is the fourth-highest in the NFL among tackles, but he’s only allowed two sacks all season, per PFF. He’s also the left tackle for Patrick Mahomes, a distinction that makes him one of the most important players on the roster.

At this point, the offensive line needs consistency and cohesion. Smith has already missed five games this season and hasn’t played since the team’s Week 13 loss to the Packers. Without him, the Chiefs have allowed a pressure rate of 35.3%, 10th-highest in the NFL. However, with Smith in the lineup, the Chiefs’ pressure rate has been 32.2%, slap bang in the middle of the league. 

L’Jarius Sneed

Sneed has been one of the faces of one of the best defenses in the league this season. The fourth-year cornerback has been a menace in press coverage, allowing just 353 yards this season, as well as a 56.8 passer rating when targeted per PFF. However, Sneed is dealing with a calf injury this week.

A healthy Sneed would likely be the primary defender covering Tyreek Hill on the outside. Hill has been electric in 2023, and nearly every defender who is pulled into his gravity suffers. However, Hill struggled against Sneed and the Chiefs in Week 9, catching eight passes for 62 yards — one of his lowest yardage totals of the season. 

Rashee Rice

As the Chiefs’ passing offense has struggled all season, it’s been Rashee Rice who has emerged from the rubble as the key receiver on the team, aside from Travis Kelce. The rookie receiver caught 79 passes for 938 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 games and saw his influence grow week after week. Now, this late in the season, he’s one of the most important components of the offense.

Outside of Rice and Kelce, Kansas City’s receivers have consistently struggled with drops, miscommunications on routes, and — as exemplified by Kadarius Toney in Week 14 against the Bills — discipline. Rice has been dealing with a hamstring injury this week and is likely to suit up, but if he doesn’t, then an already struggling passing offense could suffer.