The Kansas City Chiefs lost starting center Rodney Hudson early in the third quarter and all of a sudden head coach Romeo Crennel had to put an offensive line together without a true center.
After seeing Casey Wiegmann never miss a snap during his time with the Chiefs, Hudson was out with what looked like a serious knee injury just three games into his tenure as starter.
With only rookie guard Jeff Allen as the other offensive lineman on the roster, Crennel moved veteran guard Ryan Lilja over to center and slid Allen in at guard. If there was any silver lining to Hudson’s injury, it’s that it happened on a failed third down. That allowed Cassel and Lilja to work on the sidelines while the Chiefs defense went to work.
Crennel didn’t yet have an update on the severity of Hudson’s injury, but he was very succinct when asked if he would stay with Lilja at center and Allen at guard.
“Today, yes,” he told reporters Monday afternoon. How long the second-year center is out will obviously force Crennel’s hand.
“If he’s (Hudson) not playing, then I probably need to research to see if I can find at least a backup to come in.”
There has been rumblings of calling Wiegmann to see if he would be interested in coming out of his unofficial retirement. However, the veteran took great pride in his consecutive snaps streak of more than 11,000 and would likely only return if he was guaranteed to be the starter and stay there. Are the Chiefs in any position to promise him that unless Hudson is lost for the season?
The Chiefs could stick with Lilja, no matter if they bring in another center or not. Crennel, for one, was impressed with how the guard handled the shift to center.
“I thought Lilja did an excellent job to tell you the truth because he came into the game and he snapped. He had shotgun snaps with no quarterback-center exchange problems in there.”
Considering the Chiefs went on to score 19 of their 27 points with the make shift line, it’s worth giving this group of guys a chance to keep the party rolling until Hudson comes back. Bring in a guy off the street to backup both center and guard and see how the guys in house handle themselves.