Smith's inactivity is due to "something" that happened to Smith's head in last Sunday's victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Nick Foles will start for the Chiefs when the Jaguars visit Arrowhead Stadium.
Something? Check any medical journal or guide reference and there's no item listed with that word. But that's where the Chiefs are stuck because according to all the tests and diagnosis from NFL protocols and neurologists, Smith did not suffer a concussion at any point at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Smith passed all concussion tests on Sunday, and the day after the game. He's going through the NFL's return-to-play protocol, but Smith said Wednesday that he had no symptoms or problems from the two hits to the head he took courtesy of the Colts defense.
"Nope," was Smith's answer when asked if he felt like he suffered a concussion. "But certainly something happened. Don't know what it was, don't know what you want to call it."
After much conversation within the organization from head coach Andy Reid, to general manager John Dorsey, club president Clark Hunt and various doctors, trainers and specialists, the Chiefs decided it would be better for Smith to sit out the next game.
Smith will be practicing all week as the scout team quarterback, but he will not be active or dress for Sunday's game.
"He has been symptom-free of concussion, but it's just in the best interests of all that we allow him to go through this," Reid said. "He'll practice and run the scout team. He's worked out, so everything is positive.
"Whatever happened, happened. We believe the doctors when they say there was no concussion. I just think it's important that we step back and see how he does this week."
In the game, Smith suffered a laceration on his right ear and he also picked up two bruises behind his ears that team trainer Rick Burkholder described as "hematomas" probably caused by his helmet.
"We want to let those things behind his ears calm down and his cut heal up and then we'll go from there," said Reid, who indicated he would expect Smith to start against Carolina on Nov. 13.
Smith is not a stranger to concussions-head trauma-something. He sustained a concussion at the University of Utah, and he was concussed during the 2012 season with the San Francisco 49ers.
The 12-year veteran knows what a concussion is all about and understands the long-term ramifications from continued blows to the head.
"I have three little kids and you only get one brain as far as I know," Smith said. "I've got a future and I'm not trying to be dumb with anything. At the same time, I'm a football player, I feel good and I'll practice this week. Everybody came together, made this decision and we'll go with it.
"You can fix ankles, knees and things like that. But there's no fixing brain injuries long-term. That would be the difference and I think that's something everyone takes into account. There's a lot of research that says any kind of head trauma or whatever you want to call it, time to heal is obviously important and I think precautionary. That was the decision here."
Foles will get his first starting assignment with the Chiefs. It will be the 37th start of his career, after opening 25 games with the Eagles (2012-14) and 11 as the starter for the Rams (2015).
His overall record as a starter is 19-17 and his last start came on Dec. 6, 2015, when the Rams lost 27-3 to the Arizona Cardinals in St. Louis.
"Alex will put on the coaching hat this week," Reid said. "Everybody has confidence in Nick. We are lucky that Dorsey made these moves and we have a good quarterback group. Not every team has it. That's a positive thing."
Smith was consulted on the move and understands the reason for the decision to keep him out of the action this Sunday.
"Ultimately that's Coach's decision," Smith said. "But certainly he and I have the relationship where I was open and honest with him about everything, how I'm feeling, what I'm thinking. This was a decision we came to together, certainly.
"I love playing football. I love my teammates. I love everything about it. The last thing I think anybody wanted to see was to come back too soon and to see something happen again. Would that have happened? Maybe, maybe not. You just don't know. This is everybody taking the side of caution and trying to make the best decision. It's not black and white."
SERIES HISTORY: 11th regular-season meeting between the teams with the Chiefs holding a 4-6 record. The last time the teams met was the 2013 season opener. It was Andy Reid's first game as Kansas City head coach and the Chiefs rolled to a 28-2 victory in Florida. That was a follow-up to a 42-20 outcome over the Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium in 2010. In Kansas City, the Jags have a 2-2 record, with their last victory coming in the 2007 season.
--On Wednesday the Chiefs were awaiting further word from orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on the status of running back Jamaal Charles' right knee. The Chiefs all-time leading rusher was examined on Monday by Andrews in Florida and on Tuesday the doctor decided another procedure was necessary.
Kansas City trainer Rick Burkholder described it as "exploratory surgery" that was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
"It's thought that he might have a meniscus tear in that knee," Burkholder said. "He had some meniscus damage before in that knee and Dr. Andrews wants to see if there's something that's causing the discomfort."
Dr. Andrews performed the repair of Charles right ACL last October and a return to practice and playing caused swelling and pain in that knee over the last month.
Through seven games, Charles was on the field for only three and saw only 27 offensive snaps. He touched the ball 14 times for 54 yards and a four-yard touchdown run against Oakland.
NOTES: QB Alex Smith (head trauma) will not play in this Sunday's game against Jacksonville. Smith is being held out by the Chiefs because of the two hits to the head their starting quarterback took against Indianapolis. By all testing and diagnosis from experts, Smith did not sustain a concussion when he was hit on the head in the first and third quarters of the victory over the Colts. He's shown no concussion symptoms in the three days since the game. Smith will take part in practices this week, but will not dress for the game against the Jaguars. ... RB Spencer Ware (concussion) did not take part in the Chiefs' practice on Wednesday because of the concussion he sustained last Sunday against the Colts. Ware has not passed the second level of NFL concussion protocol testing. Head coach Andy Reid would not rule him out of participating on Sunday against Jacksonville. ... DE Jaye Howard (hip) was held out of practice on Wednesday by the Chiefs because of a hip injury. ... LG Parker Ehinger (knee) was expected to go to the injured-reserve list this week after sustaining an ACL injury to his right knee in last Sunday's game against Indianapolis. ... RT Mitchell Schwartz (ankle) was held out of the Chiefs' practice on Wednesday due to his sprained ankle but is expected to play against Jacksonville. ... .OLB Tamba Hali (knee) did not practice with the Chiefs on Wednesday. It was the new normal drill for Hali, who gets to rest his sore knees for two practices each week. ... CB D.J. White (hand) missed last week's game against Indianapolis after suffering a broken hand against New Orleans on Oct. 23. White was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice for the Chiefs. ... ILB Derrick Johnson (hamstring) was a limited participant in the Chiefs' practice on Wednesday due to a pulled hamstring suffered last Sunday.