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How the Chiefs will absorb the loss of Eric Fisher


It was confirmed Monday morning by the Chiefs that left tackle Eric Fisher did in fact tear his achilles tendon in the AFC Championship against the Buffalo Bills. Fisher sustained the injury in the early fourth quarter after taking a snap on offense when Fisher seemed to fall to the ground randomly while taking his steps. This injury comes at the worst possible time as the Chiefs will be taking on the vaunted Buccaneers pass rush in the Super Bowl. However, the Chiefs should be able to absorb the loss of Eric Fisher just fine.

First of all, let's give credit to Andy who has been successfully able to scheme and coach around all but one starting lineman from the beginning of the season being out or injured. The offensive line lost LDT, Mitchell Schwartz, Kelechi Osemele, and now Eric Fisher at one point or another this season and the Chiefs still managed to go 14-2. That itself is amazing.

That being said, while the loss of Fisher hurts the Chiefs and their offensive line depth, the Chiefs aren't new to this situation. Fisher was also out earlier this season with a back injury against the New Orleans Saints, who for the record have a better pass rush than the Buccaneers as the Saints ranked 2nd in sacks and top 3 in pressure rate all year while the Bucccaneers were 7th in sacks, and Mike Remmers played left tackle while Andrew Wylie played left and Wylie actually held his own against star DE Cameron Jordan while Remmers has been solid filling in at both tackle spots all season. In fact, Remmers is quietly having one of the best seasons of his career with a 70.1 PFF grade despite being asked to play a role he might not be used to.

Also, Fisher's injury forces the Chiefs to do some moving around of players on the offensive line which could make the overall offensive line play better. First off, Wylie might be better suited at tackle than guard and Austin Reiter who plays center can play guard as well and then you have Daniel Kilgore who can slide in at center and has really been more impressive than Wylie this year. In addition, the Chiefs still have Stefen Wisniewski who has been fantastic once again and helped to open up the run game as well. Heck, even after Fisher went out against the Bills they looked fine and Mahomes was left rather unphased. Of course, the Bucs are a tougher opponent but it's no impossible task.

Furthermore, let's look at last Super Bowl against the 49ers. Eric Fisher was not all that good. It's just the truth. Now, Nick Bosa is a very tough matchup but Fisher allowed Bosa to get 1 sack against Mahomes in that game and allowed 12 total pressures throughout that game. Twelve! Despite that, the Chiefs still won by double-digits. So, if Mike Remmers can just clear that bar for the Super Bowl, then the Chiefs should still be able to win especially when you consider how dominant the Chiefs have been this postseason and how much better they look compared to last year which is crazy to think about.

Realistically speaking, while Fisher is maybe the best the Chiefs have to offer at left tackle, he's never been that great. In fact, he was bottom-three in the NFL this year in blown pass-blocks and can be overmatched frequently. Many will point to last year and how the Chiefs went undefeated with Eric Fisher in the lineup, but that was probably more of a testament to how bad Cam Erving was than how good Eric Fisher is. The Chiefs won't have much flexibility after losing Fisher now but Mike Remmers is more than serviceable.

As for Fisher, that very well could have been his last game as a Chief. Fisher will be entering the final year of his contract next season, and coming off a torn achilles there's no telling if he'll even be ready. The Chiefs save around $7,000,000 next year by cutting Fisher and with 2020 3rd-round pick tackle Lucas Niang waiting in the wings already, it might be best for the team to part ways with Fisher or restructure at the very least.

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