Justin Houston heads to locker room with elbow injury, Chiefs lead 14-10

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The Chiefs have a 14-10 lead over the Chargers at halftime, but they can’t be feeling too comfortable after a pair of injuries to key defensive players.

Linebacker Tamba Hali headed to the locker room on a cart early in the second quarter and Justin Houston joined him there just before halftime. Hali’s return is being called questionable with an ankle injury and Houston has been given the same diagnosis with an elbow problem.

That puts a serious damper on a half that saw some life in the Chiefs passing offense. Alex Smith hit Donnie Avery for a 32-yard touchdown and then hit Avery for 36 more yards to set up a Jamaal Charles touchdown that extended their lead to 14-3. A sharp 80-yard drive by the Chargers drew them back within a score when Philip Rivers hit Danny Woodhead for a touchdown just before the half.

The Chargers defense has held the Chiefs to 84 yards outside of those two deep balls to Avery and they’ve sacked Smith twice, a much stronger defensive outing than we’re accustomed to seeing from San Diego this season. Wide receiver Keenan Allen, meanwhile, has accounted for 104 of the Chargers’ 188 first half yards which makes for some pretty unusual symmetry once you remove the top receivers from the occasion in Kansas City.