Alex Smith out with lacerated spleen, Chase Daniel to start

Chase Daniel will start in Week 17 for the Chiefs for the second season in a row. Ironically he played against the Chargers last season as well.

The Chiefs will start Daniel in place of Alex Smith in Sunday’s game against the Chargers. Smith has been ruled out with a lacerated spleen.

Smith suffered the injury in last week’s loss to the Steelers. He was able to play all of that game and even practiced earlier this week before being diagnosed with the injury on Christmas day.

Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said Smith will heal on his own and would not need surgery. He said a normal recovery time from such an injury is six weeks.

“Generally [lacerated spleens] take six weeks [to heal], but everybody is different,” Burkholder said. “He’s a young, healthy guy that’s got a high metabolism. If we’re playing three, four weeks from now, we’ll rescan him and see where he’s at.

Should the Chargers get past the Chiefs they will earn a playoff spot. The Chiefs are not eliminated from the playoff picture themselves but would need a win coupled with a Ravens loss to the Browns and a Texans loss or tie to the Jaguars.

For his career the 28-year-old Daniel is 32 of 48 for 303 yards throwing one touchdown and an intercepiton.