KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City's four-time Pro Bowl tight end, injured his left knee during practice Tuesday when he was hit while reaching for a pass.
Coach Dick Vermeil said early indications were the injury did not threaten Gonzalez's season or career.
"I think it will be short term, but that's a first look," Vermeil said.
Gonzalez was twisting for a pass thrown behind him when he was hit at the same time by linebacker Mike Maslowski during a full-team drill. He said in the locker room after practice the injury was not serious.
"You hate that part of this game and always will, and you hate it more when it's a high-caliber and quality football player and a great person," Vermeil said.
Vermeil said Gonzalez's injury did not appear as serious as an injury he sustained to the same knee two years ago.
"He strained his knee, but there was no swelling and it wasn't loose," Vermeil said.
A Chiefs spokesman said late Tuesday there would be no further updates on Gonzalez's condition until Wednesday.
Losing Gonzalez would be a severe blow to the offense, which led the NFL in total yards last season. The 6-foot-5 Gonzalez needs just 20 receptions to surpass Henry Marshall's team career record of 416.
Vermeil said Gonzalez would not play in Thursday's preseason finale in St. Louis. His availability for the Sept. 7 season opener with San Diego is uncertain.
Practice came to a halt when Gonzalez let out a cry of pain as he hit the ground and did not get up. Offensive coordinator Al Saunders yelled in frustration as he raced to his player's side, trailed by quarterback Trent Green.
Gonzalez was being closely covered by Maslowski when he reached slightly behind him to catch a pass. Maslowski reached in for the deflection and the two players collided. Gonzalez appeared to twist his leg before he went down.
"We think it's not serious," Vermeil said. "Still, it scared us. I've got a slow heartbeat anyway. My pulse rate is about 46, and I think it dropped to 32. "