How worried should the Kansas City Chiefs be about Reggie Ragland’s knee injury?

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 10: Running back Marshawn Lynch
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 10: Running back Marshawn Lynch /

The Kansas City Chiefs have placed Reggie Ragland on the NFI list with a swollen knee, but head coach Andy Reid is not worried at all.

The injuries are starting to add up bit by bit for the Kansas City Chiefs as players adjust to the intensity, heat and rigors of training camp practice. The latest player to sit out practice is, however, is Reggie Ragland, who arrived already injured due to the flight that brought him to camp.

Ragland sat out Thursday’s practice with a swollen knee, the result of flying to Chiefs camp in the first place. The Chiefs then placed Ragland on the NFI list, which stands for Non-Football Injury list, so they can use his roster spot on someone else if so desired while he sits and waits for things to settle. Per head coach Andy Reid’s comments;

"“We put Reggie on NFI (Non-Football Injury list). His knee puffed up on the flight here, it’s that simple,” Reid said. “He’s in great shape and we’re just going to let that calm down. It’s a precautionary measure and I don’t think it’s anything to [worry about].”"

Reid was very direct with reporters about his lack of concern for the injury—at least at face value. He insisted in multiple ways that he didn’t believe the injury to be serious. Here’s his direct quote when pressed for further details on the matter:

"He’s been on a couple of long trips. He had to go to the Mexico thing and do that for our Mexico trip, and then he flew back and then he flew here. Those things happen. I don’t think this is an alarming thing. I’m not worried about that."

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On the surface, Reid sounds right and good. Chiefs fans have nothing to worry about. The team has several weeks to get ready for the season, and Ragland has been here for a full year now. He’s shown himself to be a leader from the outset, and he’s an important cog in the defensive wheel who will be ready when the time comes.

That said, I’m very surprised that no one pressed him further on the matter. Namely, what happens when Reggie Ragland has to fly during the regular season? The Chiefs start the season with back-to-back trips from Los Angeles (Chargers) to Pittsburgh (Steelers). Will his knee not also swell up then? If he’s potentially out for a week or two in training camp, will Ragland also not be limited during the regular season?

And if it’s a flight to Mexico that made this situation bad in the first place, what about the midseason trip the Chiefs team will take to Mexico to play the L.A. Rams? Will the Chiefs have Ragland then? There are also two more West Coast flights in December to visit Oakland and then Seattle, both coming after home games or a bye week, so it’s not as if the team is staying out West.

Are there special arrangements for Ragland to drive? Is a commercial flight different from the team plane? These are obvious questions that should have been asked.

The good news is that the Chiefs are as loaded at linebacker as they’ve been in years. While Derrick Johnson is now gone, the team used to heavily on Ramik Wilson and Josh Mauga types to soak up serious minutes. With Ragland, Anthony Hitchens and even Ukeme Eligwe, the Chiefs are more athletic at the position than before. That will help in any case when a player is not able to suit up.

Still Ragland has already shown himself to be a very productive player with tremendous heart in the middle of this defense. He’s also clearly growing into a leader right before our eyes. When this year is said and done the Chiefs will be much, much better with Ragland in the middle for all 16 games.

Here’s hoping Andy Reid is right.