Giants lose starting S Jabrill Peppers ahead of Week 8 matchup vs. Chiefs

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The Kansas City Chiefs will dodge a major bullet in their matchup against the New York Giants. They sent one of their best players, starting safety Jabrill Peppers, to injured reserve on Tuesday. A former first-round pick by way of the University of Michigan, Peppers has been coming into his own this season for the G Men, registering 30 tackles in six games with one sack and his lowest rate of missed tackles in his career.

Peppers was a stud at the collegiate level as a dual-threat in the return game and an occasional receiver on offense. His ability to lay down big hits from the safety position made him one of the most exciting players in the NCAA in 2016 ranks, finishing fifth in voting and securing the Ronnie Lott Trophy as a consolation prize.

Without him in action against the Chiefs, New York will be at a major disadvantage in the face of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid’s offensive attack. Prior to suffering a knee injury in Week 7, Peppers managed one of his most productive outings of the season with five combined tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and one QB hit.

Coming off an embarrassing loss to Tennessee, Kansas City needs every edge it can get to climb back to .500 amid their early-season slide toward mediocrity. The offense has struggled to attack even the most basic defensive coverages, especially cover two, and will surely benefit from Peppers’ absence in the Week 8 “Monday Night Football” spectacle.

Nobody can be sure if one win will help right the Chiefs’ ship in the long term, but this game will be a test to see whether Kansas City can get one over on a beatable opponent. They certainly haven’t shown that they’re on the level with the best of what the AFC has to offer this season, but the Chiefs could prove something by putting the hurt on New York this week to get back in rhythm.

Advancing to 4-4 would put Kansas City on pace for the AFC playoff picture with an eye toward more consistent improvement to get into the mix for more advantageous seeding. The Chiefs aren’t dead just yet, and Peppers’ exclusion from the starting lineup this week could be the tinderbox that helps the team rise to their true potential after so many ups and downs through seven weeks.

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