After suiting up for the first time in nearly two years, Fallon’s Josh Mauga was sidelined again with another injury.
But unlike the past two injuries he suffered with the Jets, the ex-Wolf Pack linebacker is already back on the field this week as Kansas City entertains Minnesota on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Things are progressing good,” Mauga said. “It basically depends on how I feel this week.”
Mauga, who suffered a groin strain last week, missed the Chiefs’ 28-16 road loss to the Panthers on Sunday but was cleared this week to begin individual work and drills before progressing back into practice with the rest of the linebackers and team.
Mauga had a good preseason game in the win earlier this month over the Bengals as he played more than a half on defense and special teams. He was pleased with his performance but said he still needs to clean up his play before the next game.
“I thought I played OK,” he said. “I definitely got some things to clean up and improve for the next game. But it’s nothing major, just minor things.”
Mauga was just happy to be back on the field after his body tried to end his career twice when he was playing for Rex Ryan’s Jets. Mauga suffered pectoral and back injuries that ended his 2012 season in October and then kept him out for all of 2013.
“Just being in an NFL game atmosphere is such a great experience and to me, it never gets old,” Mauga said. “I always look forward to the national anthem because it always gets me pumped up right before kickoff.”
Before last week’s setback, Mauga has impressed the Chiefs coaches but he said it falls back onto competing with a solid group of linebackers. Mauga is currently No. 2 on the depth chart at left inside linebacker ahead of Nico Johnson and as long as he recovers from his injury, he appears to make the team’s official roster. Final roster cuts are due by 1 p.m. PST next Saturday.
“I would say this is the most competitive group of linebackers that I’ve been around,” Mauga added. “Don’t get me wrong. I’ve gotten the chance to play with some great linebackers (including Bart Scott) in New York, but overall as a group, from the ones down to the threes, guys are playing well and making improvements every day. It’s such a great group of guys to be around, as well.”
Kansas City ended training camp on Friday in St. Joseph, Missouri, and moved back to the training facility in Kansas City as the Chiefs have two preseason games remaining. They host Minnesota on Saturday and visit Green Bay on Aug. 28. Kansas City opens the season at home on Sept. 7 against the Titans.