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Chiefs Linebacker Nick Bolton Has Surgery on Fractured Wrist



Updated 1:06 PM CDT, October 25, 2023


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs’ Nick Bolton had surgery in Los Angeles on his fractured wrist this week, though coach Andy Reid said Wednesday he was not sure whether the linebacker would land on injured reserve or how long he might be out.

Reid said there was no need during the procedure Tuesday for metal to be put into the wrist to support it, and that could help Bolton return to the field quicker. He already has missed three games this season because of an ankle injury.

“That was a positive going forward with him,” Reid said. “We just have to kind of check and see going forward.”

Bolton, a second-round pick in the 2021 draft, has become one of the league’s best playmaking linebackers. He made 180 tackles with two sacks and had two interceptions last season.

He was hurt while making a tackle during the Chiefs’ 31-17 win over the Chargers on Sunday.

The Chiefs signed former Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill almost as an afterthought in free agency, but he has already proven to be indispensable. Tranquill got most of snaps during the three weeks Bolton was out with his ankle injury, and his intelligence and experience coupled with his natural athleticism have allowed him to take over as the quarterback of the defense.

Tranquill, who had 146 tackles for the Chargers last season, has 36 through the first seven weeks with Kansas City. He also has a sack in each of the past two games, including one against the Broncos — whom the Chiefs visit this Sunday.

“Drue has done a heck of a job coming in for Nick,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said. “Nick, he’s been very vocal. He took that leadership role of getting everyone lined up. I think he’s done a tremendous job in the amount of time he’s had.”

What also should help the Chiefs defense absorb the loss of Bolton is the return of pass rusher Charles Omenihu from his six-game suspension last week against Los Angeles. Omenihu had a sack and a pass deflection that led to an interception, and his ability to provide pressure off the edge allows Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to have more flexibility.

“I think our best game is ahead of us,” Jones said. “We’re building chemistry across the defensive line, and having Charles in there, everyone being able to move around, I think it’s a plus for our D-line.”

In other news, Reid said Justyn Ross would practice one day after t he 23-year-old wide receiver was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery and criminal damage to property and released after posting $2,500 bond.

Ross, who is due again in court on Dec. 4., has been a bit player for the defending Super Bowl champions this season. He has been active in their first seven games but has just three catches for 34 yards on the season.

“All situations are different, obviously,” Reid said. “The law enforcement part of it, you listen to what the real details went on, and then you keep open communication ” among general manager Brett Veach and other law enforcement officials.

“Other than that,” Reid said, “I really don’t have any information for you other than what we have gathered.”

NOTES: WR Justin Watson returned to practice Wednesday. He hurt his elbow during the Chiefs’ win over the Broncos in Week 6, and while the injury at first appeared to be significant, Watson could be back soon. He has 10 catches for 219 yards this season. … QB Patrick Mahomes has said that he enjoys playing in the snow, and that could bode well for the Chiefs with a chance of it on Sunday in Denver. “I grew up in Texas. I only saw snow like, twice growing up,” Mahomes said. “I got accustomed to it in KC. I thought snow would be like rain where it gets a little slippery, where the snow actually makes it a little sticky. But at the end of the day, you just have to go out there and throw it and see what happens.”