Chiefs DE Charles Omenihu reportedly has torn ACL, will miss Super Bowl

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National Football League

Published
Jan. 29, 2024 5:00 p.m. ET

Kansas City Chiefs starting defensive end Charles Omenihu was diagnosed with a torn ACL Monday and will miss the Super Bowl, according to multiple reports. Omenihu appeared to confirm the news by posting a broken heart to X (formerly Twitter) as those reports emerged. 

Omenihu is in his first season with the Chiefs after signing as a free agent last offseason. He became an important part of Kansas City’s defensive front after serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following a domestic incident when he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers. Despite missing those six games, Omenihu finished the regular season with seven sacks, third on the team behind star defensive end Chris Jones and second-year standout George Karlaftis.

Omenihu suffered his knee injury late in the first half of the Chiefs’ 17-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. Shortly before the injury, Omenihu forced a crucial turnover by strip-sacking star Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson deep in Baltimore territory.

Omenihu watched in street clothes as the Chiefs allowed only three points in the second half of their victory. After the game, he expressed optimism that he could play in the Super Bowl, where the Chiefs will face Omenihu’s former team.

Instead, however, Omenihu’s absence adds to some other key injuries the Chiefs are dealing with as they head toward a rematch of Super Bowl LIV. Two other Kansas City starters, offensive lineman Joe Thuney and linebacker Willie Gay, missed Sunday’s AFC title game. Gay appears optimistic he will play in the Super Bowl after dealing with neck spasms on Sunday, while Thuney is reportedly doubtful with a torn pectoral muscle.

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