Chiefs' RB Anders Out for Season
Sep. 21, 1999
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ One day after the best game of his career, Kansas City running back Kimble Anders underwent surgery on his Achilles' tendon and will miss the rest of the season.
``It's tough. It's tough personally,'' Chiefs coach Gunther Cunningham said Monday when Anders was placed on injured reserve. ``The football part, those things happen. You've got to go on. But it's tough personally because Kimble's done a great job for all of us.''
Anders, a former Pro Bowl fullback, was converted this year to halfback and carried 22 times for 142 yards in Sunday's 26-10 victory over Denver _ the biggest day by a Kansas City running back since 1991. He went down late in the fourth quarter.
Also on Monday, left guard Dave Szott underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The former All-Pro, who missed all last season with an arm injury, sat out most of the Denver game. Szott said he hoped to be back in two weeks.
``But my wife winces when I say that,'' he said. ``I missed enough time last year. I don't want to miss much more.''
A skillful blocker and receiver, Anders was considered a quiet leader of the offense.
Bam Morris, who has been in Cunningham's doghouse after coming to camp overweight, will probably move into Anders' starting role. Morris, who did not play at all in the opener at Chicago, scored on a 5-yard run late in the Denver game.
Second-year man Rashaan Shehee could split time with Morris at running back.
``Bam will start and we'll just keep beating on him until he gets tired and then we'll put the next guy in,'' said Cunningham, adding that Shehee's role will ``expand.''
The 260-pound Morris was pushed to the second team when the Chiefs switched positions for Anders, who had been to the Pro Bowl three times as a fullback.
``I'm ready for whatever happens,'' said Morris, who gained 481 yards on 129 carries last year. ``Whatever they throw at me, I'm ready and willing.
``I feel like when a guy goes down, the other guys have to step up and play. Kimble had a great day. It's just terrible the accident that happened on that play.''
Shehee, a second-round draft pick in 1997, has had a limited role as a third-down back.
``It's a tragic situation,'' Shehee said. ``But the ship has to keep going. And the rest of us have to pick it up. We just have to be like No. 38 (Anders) out there.''
The Chiefs have several possibilities if Szott, another former Pro Bowl selection, misses any time. Jeff Smith, a veteran backup, performed well in place of Szott against Denver. Plus, Glenn Parker could move over from left tackle.
John Tait, the No. 1 draft pick who did not sign until just before the season opener, might see action at left tackle. He was activated Monday after being inactive the past two weeks.
``We rushed for 188 yards (against Denver) with Jeff Smith playing there for three quarters. The cupboard's not bare,'' Cunningham said. ``He played last year and he's a good backup player who can go in and start a game and win.''
Tait admitted he's still got a lot to catch up on after missing all of training camp.
``The more I do, the more comfortable I'll feel and the better I'll get,'' he said. ``I'm really eager to go. Arrowhead's a great place and I'm really eager to get my career going. There's a whole lot of work to do.''