Dontari Poe likely to miss start of 2015 after surgery


Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe (92) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 19-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Already losing cornerback Sean Smith for the first three games after a suspension stemming from DUI chargers, the Kansas City Chiefs were dealt another blow to their vaunted defense on Tuesday. This time losing a Pro Bowl defensive lineman for what could be the start of the season after a surgery on a herniated disk.

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According to reports, defensive tackle Dontari Poe went under the knife to deal with back problems relating to a herniated disk that began back in OTA’s. The nose tackle set to miss all of training camp and likely the entire preseason plus some September games after having to deal with the rehab process that will come from the surgery that took place on July 15.

According to reporters in Kansas City, Poe had two epidurals for the back issues. Ultimately undergoing successful surgery back on the 15th and will now begin the road to trying to get back as soon as possible with early in the 2015 season the goal. Jaye Howard will replace the Pro Bowl nose tackle for the time being and is the frontrunner to take his snaps if Poe cannot get back in time for Week 1 which is looking likely based on the reports and the July 15 date for his surgery.

Poe’s absence in the Chiefs defensive front will have big implications in the AFC West and for the playoff hopes of Kansas City as a Week 2 date against the Denver Broncos may be much harder without their big presence in the middle of the trenches on defense. Poe could also miss Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers on the road so with a tough schedule the absence could be a major blow to the Chiefs and their hopes of returning to the playoffs in 2015.

When it comes to the Raiders two season matchups with KC in 2015 it won’t be a factor with Poe guaranteed to be back before the two December clashes, but in the grand scheme of things the loss of a cornerback as well as a nose tackle in September could end up being massive in the AFC Wild Card race for the Chiefs. Andy Reid will need to hope that Jaye Howard can step up, but replacing a player like Poe who allows pass rusher Justin Houston to avoid double teams when possible will not be an easy task as Kansas City’s defensive strength is getting just a bit weaker to open up the season with suspensions and injuries looming large.