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During Andy Reid’s Wednesday injury update, he referred to Hitchens’ injury as a “triceps contusion.” Contusion typical refers to a bruise or welt, which doesn’t sound all that serious, given the potential alternatives. However, we’re now learning that Hitchens’ injury might be a bit more serious than initially let on by the Chiefs’ head coach.
According to a report from NFL Network’s Jeffrey Chadiha, Hitchens is dealing with a nerve injury in his elbow.
“Middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens is battling a nerve injury,” Chadiha said on NFL Now on Wednesday. “A nerve issue in his right elbow, that he sustained in that Washington game.”
Nerve injuries in the elbow can be tricky for players to play through. Some could choose to tough it out with a big brace on the elbow, which is certain to be a painful route for a player whose job is to make tackles. Others opt for surgery to repair the injury right away.
Whatever route the Chiefs decide to take, Chadiha anticipates that the team won’t play Hitchens against the Titans in Week 7. His practice status on Wednesday would also suggest that. Instead, Chadiha feels that Nick Bolton will get the nod to start in place of Hitchens, with second-year man Willie Gay Jr. as his primary running mate on defense.
“They’ll probably be starting Nick Bolton, a rookie, at linebacker alongside Willie Gay, a second-year player at linebacker,” Chadiha added.
Whatever the case, it’s looking more and more likely that the Chiefs will be without their typical defensive signal-caller for this week and perhaps beyond. Bolton has played plenty of snaps so far this season, while Gay looks to increase his workload in his third game back from injured reserve. Look for Darius Harris or Christian Rozeboom to potentially be elevated from the practice squad as well.