Chiefs’ first round pick Jon Baldwin injuries wrist in locker room brawl with Thomas Jones

According to a report by sports talk show host Nick Wright of 610 Kansas City, Chiefs rookie first round pick Jonathan Baldwin is likely done for the preseason after injuring his wrist/thumb in a locker-room brawl with running back Thomas Jones.

Let me state again that Nick Wright BROKE THE STORY FIRST. I’m only repeating myself because Wright has spent most of today complaining about how others are giving credit to ESPN/Adam Schefter, so I figured I would make it clear that Wright BROKE THE STORY FIRST.

Moving on…Wright tweets:

What I’m hearing on Baldwin: “he’s as advertised. Diva, spoiled, doesn’t wanna listen. Can run a Go and a Slant, and doesn’t wanna work.”

Wright also writes that head coach Todd Haley has embarrassed Baldwin a few times, “but hasn’t really gone off on him yet.” There’s some concern that the rookie could be out 6-8 weeks and is doubtful for Week 1 following his fight with Jones – this according to Wright, who cannot confirm the news but is only “passing it along.” (Did I mention that he broke the story first?)

None of this is surprising if you paid attention to the pre-draft reports on Baldwin, who was often criticized for his lack of work ethic and his immaturity. Following his junior season at PITT, he bashed quarterback Tino Sunseri and the Panthers’ coaching staff for his lack of growth as a player. (It’s always good to blame others for your shortcomings as a person.) He was also charged with disorderly conduct and harassment in 2009 after he allegedly groped a female student on a campus bus. He was eventually cleared of those charges, however.

Baldwin certainly has all the athletic ability to succeed, but his character flaws have apparently followed him to Kansas City. Thomas Jones is regarded as a good locker room guy, so the fact that Baldwin fought with him won’t endear him to his teammates. The kid hasn’t even run one route in a meaningful game yet and already it appears as though he may be headed for bustville.

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Does Todd Haley now realize he needs to feed the ball to Jamaal Charles?

ATLANTA - AUGUST 13: Jamaal Charles  of the Kansas City Chiefs against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on August 13, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The RBBC in Kansas City has been a hot topic for debate in the world of fantasy football. Actually, no it hasn’t. Fantasy owners are pretty much united in the belief that Jamaal Charles is the best, most explosive running back in Kansas City, yet Thomas Jones continues to start and eat into Charles’ fantasy production. Head coach Todd Haley is nothing if not stubborn (most NFL coaches are), so we weren’t going to see him tinker with what was ‘working.’

Now with the Chiefs’ loss to the Colts on Sunday, will we finally see the 60/40 or 65/35 (Charles/TJ) split that we were expecting when we drafted Charles in the 2nd, 3rd or even 4th round this summer?

The signs are encouraging and discouraging at the same time.

On one hand, Charles got 16 carries (for 87 yards, a 5.4 ypc average) to TJ’s eight (for 19 yards, 2.4 ypc). Charles was also targeted six times in the passing game (3-14), so he received 19 touches to Jones’s eight.

But what’s worrisome is that even after an 11-carry, 66-yard first half, Jones still started the third quarter. On the Chiefs’ first drive in the quarter, he had a 3-yard carry followed by a 6-yard carry before being stuffed for a 2-yard loss on a 3rd-and-1.

Time to punt.

At this point, Jones had 22 yards on six carries, which isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible either. (Charles was averaging 6.0 ypc at this point, so the disparity was clear.) On the Chiefs’ next drive, Charles rattled off carries of 14-yards and 7-yards before being pulled on a 2nd-and-5 from the Colts’ 12-yard line. Jones got the carry and lost five yards. One incomplete pass to Dwayne Bowe later and the Chiefs had to kick the field goal.

Charles played most of the rest of the way, but the Chiefs started throwing the ball more. In the final quarter, Charles had 11 yards on four carries along with two catches for 11 yards. Jones had one carry for two yards.

It appears that Haley realizes Charles is the better back, but he simply refuses to start him. This gives Jones an opportunity to get going early, and if he does have success on that first drive in each half, he’ll continue to vulture more carries from the Chiefs’ best offensive player.

They say that it doesn’t really matter who starts, but whoever is given the first opportunity is given the first opportunity to succeed. If Jones gets the running game going early, then Charles isn’t going to see as many carries over the course of the game. If Charles were starting, he’d have the first crack (and at 6.5 ypc, he probably wouldn’t give up the ball). And it’s not like Charles hasn’t proven he can carry the load. Over the last eight games of the 2009 season, he averaged 23 touches for 141 yards. With Jones on the roster, there’s no need to wear Charles down, but 18-20 touches is a good blueprint for offensive success.

In that respect, this week’s game is a good sign for Charles owners. But Thomas Jones is still the starter in Kansas City.

Colts’ run defense finally shows up

INDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 19: Fili Moala  of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after recovering a fumble and scoring a touchdown during the NFL game against the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

By halftime of Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Colts, Indianapolis fans must have had that pit in the middle of their stomachs – the same one they’ve had in two of the Colts’ first four games.

In the Colts’ two losses this season, the Texans and Jaguars were able to run the ball at will against Indy’s soft defensive interior. At halftime on Sunday, the Chiefs had already rushed for 84 yards and thanks to a monster effort by Tamba Hali and the rest of KC’s defense, the Colts only led by a field goal.

But the much maligned Indianapolis front seven finally got it together and held Kansas City to just 30 yards rushing in the second half. The effort allowed the Colts to leave the RCA Dome on Sunday with a 19-9 win despite a lackluster effort by their offense (most notably Ryan Diem, who spent most of the afternoon impersonating a revolving door for Hali to get to Peyton Manning). They also held Thomas Jones to just 19 rushing yards on eight carries.

Of course, it’s much easier to stop the run when you know the other team can’t throw. Matt Cassel and the rest of KC’s passing game was once again non-existent so the Colts knew if they could mount up against the run, they would come away with a win. But regardless of the Chiefs’ passing woes, Indy’s run defense took charge for the first time all year.

The Colts are going to need this kind of effort from their run defense all season.

The Chiefs’ offense will continue to hold back an otherwise decent team

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett (L), Colts defensive back Kelvin Hayden (26) and Colts linebacker Phillip Wheeler break up a pass intended for Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (82) in the end zone during the first quarter of their NFL football game in Indianapolis October 10, 2010.  REUTERS/Brent Smith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

This was supposed to be the day that we figured out whether or not the Chiefs are for real. Their 3-0 record spoke for itself, but with wins over the Chargers (who have struggled on the road), Browns (who have struggled closing out games) and 49ers (who have just flat out struggled), nobody could say for sure whether or not Kansas City’s record was a farce.

And if you ask me now, I’d say I still don’t know.

Teams usually don’t frustrate Peyton Manning the way the Chiefs did today and lose. Peyton completed 26-of-44 passes for 244 yards in the Colts’ 19-9 victory, but he was also picked off once and spent most of the afternoon being tormented by Tamba Hali. Romeo Crennel (who has always had success against Manning) put together an impressive game plan and held Peyton to only 5.5 yards per pass.

But the Chiefs’ defense couldn’t overcome the stink that is Matt Cassel and the rest of KC’s offense, which includes receivers Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers, as well as offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

Cassel, who has struggled every week thus far, completed just 16-of-29 passes for 156 yards. The running game, which rushed for 84 yards in the first half, could only generate 30 yards in the second as Thomas Jones could only muster 19 yards on eight carries.

The Chiefs’ defense is good enough to keep this team in contention every week. But unless they get a remarkably better effort out of Cassel and the rest of the offense, what transpired today at the RCA Dome will probably be the norm.

Did the Jets make a lateral move by signing Tomlinson?

Quick question: At this point in their careers, what does LaDainian Tomlinson bring to the field that Thomas Jones doesn’t? “Not much” would be my answer, but apparently the Jets know something I don’t.

Over the weekend, the Jets inked Tomlinson to a two-year, $5.2 million offer. This comes on the heels of them declining to match Kansas City’s two-year, $5 million offer to Jones. If both backs were are being counted on to be a complement to Shonn Greene, why wouldn’t the Jets just hang onto Jones, who by the way, is coming off a more productive season than Tomlinson?

Granted, the Jets released Jones because he’ll turn 32 in August, which makes him 10 months older than Tomlinson. But the dreaded age for a running back is 30 and Tomlinson has already shown signs of wearing down so really, what’s a 10-month difference at this point? Until his tired legs failed him late in the year, Jones was a highly productive back in 2010. Tomlinson looked tired virtually all season.

The Jets may have successfully beat out the Vikings by signing Tomlinson, but they seemed to have made a lateral move.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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