Starting defensive tackle Ryan Sims might miss the rest of the season, Kansas City Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil has acknowledged, because of a severe foot injury suffered on the first series of the team's season-opening victory over the New York Jets last week.
The fourth-year veteran was officially listed as doubtful on the Chiefs' injury report Thursday but will not play in Sunday night's game at Oakland. Sims might not return to the field until about midseason, if then.
"We lost Ryan Sims for a minimum probably of six weeks, and it may be for the season, you never know," Vermeil said. "And he was really having a great camp and preseason. He was playing extremely well when he went down early."
Sims, 25, sought a second opinion earlier this week on an injury in which two bones at the top of his foot were separated. The injury has been termed a sprain, not a break. The course of treatment is not yet known. If Sims is forced to undergo surgery, his season likely will be over.
The Chiefs' first-round choice in the 2002 draft, and the sixth player selected overall that year, Sims has been a bit of a disappointment for the Chiefs in his first three seasons. This year was regarded as a critical season for him.
The former North Carolina Tar Heel missed much of his rookie season because of a lengthy contract impasse. Over the last two seasons, he started 29 games, but his 2004 tackle total fell to 30, after Sims posted 83 the previous season. For his career, Sims has 127 tackles, five sacks and 26 quarterback pressures.
Junior Siavii likely will replace Sims in the starting lineup.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.