KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — The Kansas City Chiefs lost cornerback L’Jarius Sneed to the concussion protocol and versatile linebacker Willie Gay Jr. to a shoulder injury, depriving their defense of two key playmakers in their AFC title game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night.
The Chiefs also lost wide receivers Kadarius Toney to a twisted ankle and Mecole Hardman while getting tackled early in the second half. Fellow while Bengals counterpart Tyler Boyd went down early in the second half with a quadriceps injury.
Sneed was hurt while trying to tackle Samaje Perine low on the fourth play of the game. His helmet and shoulder appeared to hit Perine’s knee as he stopped him for a 6-yard gain, and Sneed lay motionless for a moment. He finally rolled over onto his back and was checked out by trainers before walking off the field on his own.
The Chiefs announced in the second quarter that Sneed was ruled out for the rest of the game.
Sneed typically defends the opposing slot receiver, and that means Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo planned to have him cover dangerous Bengals pass catcher Ja’Marr Chase much of the night. His injury also meant the Chiefs would be relying on three rookie cornerbacks — Trent McDuffie, Jaylen Watson and Josh Williams.
Sneed picked off three passes, forced three fumbles and also had 3 1/2 sacks this season.