The Kansas City Chiefs are hopeful they’ll be as close to full strength as possible for their opening-round matchup of the NFL playoffs. The Chiefs welcome Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts to town Saturday afternoon, but there are question marks surrounding a handful of their key players. One of which is starting running back Spencer Ware, who’s battled a hamstring injury.
While Ware joins Sammy Watkins (foot) and Eric Berry (heel) as players whose status for Saturday is up in the air, his outlook seems to be bleak at this point. Although there was at least some level of belief that the Chiefs starter would be able to play against the Colts, that has since changed.
Let’s take a look at the latest on Ware’s injury outlook ahead of the game.
Latest on Spencer Ware’s Injury & Outlook vs. Colts
Although Ware hasn’t officially been ruled out yet, there’s a belief that he won’t be on the field for this game. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed, the running back will test his hamstring injury prior to kickoff, but the hopes are “not high” that he’ll play.
Assuming Ware is unable to go, it would lead to Damien Williams likely shouldering the bulk of the workload, as he’s had a successful recent run. Charcandrick West and Darrel Williams could also see additional work if this proves to be the case.
UPDATE: As NFL Network’s James Palmer revealed Ware is inactive for this game.
Chiefs Plan at RB Without Ware
The aforementioned Damien Williams has done the heavy lifting in the three games Ware has missed, totaling 34 carries and 14 receptions over that stretch. He’s averaged 4.6 yards per carry or better in all three of the games while topping the 100-yard rushing mark once. Williams also scored four touchdowns (three rushing) and received no fewer than 12 touches in any game.
It’s worth noting that Williams’ 12-touch game came in a 35-3 Week 17 win over the Oakland Raiders, and in the two weeks prior he was given 20 and 16 touches. For the most part, he’s seen the bulk of the workload in terms of offensive snaps as well, pointing to the fact he’ll likely be on the field often against the Colts.
Williams played 73 percent of the snaps in Week 15, 64 percent the week after and 52 percent in the Chiefs’ final game of the year, per Football Outsiders. It’s worth noting that in Week 16, a game which Kansas City narrowly lost to the Seattle Seahawks, West also received 31 percent of the work, so there’s a good chance he may be the first option to rotate in with Williams.