By CJ Carlson
The Kansas City Chiefs suffered a brutal blow to their stout defense when Charles Omenihu suffered a torn ACL in the AFC Championship game. He suffered the injury attempted to tackle the Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on a scramble. With Omenihu down for the Super Bowl now, the Chiefs are heavily expecting rookie edge rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah to fill in nicely.
The Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo stated that he anticipates Anudike-Uzomah to really step up in the biggest game of the season. They drafted the rookie pass rusher in the first round out of Kansas State, though he hasn’t really had enough playing time to make a massive difference. He played a good chunk of the year early on because Omenihu had a six-game suspension. Since then, Anudike-Uzomah hadn’t had much opportunity due to the great depth they have at the position.
Kansas City Chiefs Remain Confident In Their Rookie
The only weird part about the depth situation was that the rookie got pushed down by a few surprise players, including Malik Herring. Of course, you never want your first-round rookie losing snaps to rotation pass rushers, otherwise you’d be hit with the “bust” label quickly. While fans didn’t have much patience, the Chiefs coaching staff did. They still believe that Anudike-Uzomah will be a tremendous piece for them in the Super Bowl, in spite of the fact he has been a healthy scratch all postseasons.
Here’s what Spagnuolo had to say about their first-round draft pick heading into the big game. He said, “We feel really confident with where Felix is. It wasn’t a reflection on what Felix was doing or not doing, but the other guys were doing pretty good.” As he stepped up to play extra snaps due to Omenihu’s suspension, Anudike-Uzomah had 14 tackles, seven quarterback hits, and half of a sack. There’s no telling how much playing time he’ll actually get, with Herring likely to split the extra snaps as well. Still, Kansas City feels confident in the group they have on that defensive line.