Kansas City, Mo. Kansas City defensive tackle Ryan Sims, the sixth player taken in this year's draft, is probably out for the year because of a broken elbow.
If so, it will be a blow to a defense already ranked last in the NFL. It also will mean the season has been almost entirely lost for the 315-pounder from North Carolina, who missed training camp in a contract holdout and got off to a slow start once the season began.
In his second start, he was injured early in the Chiefs' 35-34 loss Sunday to the Chargers.
Coach Dick Vermeil said Sims broke and dislocated his left elbow and would probably be placed on injured reserve.
"It makes a difference," Vermeil said Monday. "He's an ascending player. He's going to be a fine player. But he probably won't play any more this year."
Sims signed a seven-year contract with a signing bonus of almost $10 million a few days before the season opener. Criticized by Vermeil as "fat and out of shape," he nevertheless had been able to appear in every game, increasing his playing time and his effectiveness gradually.
"You know, it's not unusual that the guy who misses training camp gets hurt," said Vermeil. "It's just not unusual."
Vermeil did not say there was necessarily a connection.
"He's hurt. I think it's just a freak thing. But there's a higher percentage of guys who miss training camp that get injured than those who are in training camp."
Derrick Ransom will replace Sims as the starter and the Chiefs may try to sign another defensive lineman.
"We'll have to make some decisions," said Vermeil, who was headed for a meeting with his defensive coaches and scouting personnel.
"We'll discuss some ways to go. Personally, I feel we should bring another defensive lineman in. It hurt our whole rotation in the ballgame. Our starters ended up playing more snaps than I would like them to play."