Reggie Ragland injury update: Chiefs are just being cautious with linebacker

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

According to Brett Veach, linebacker Reggie Ragland would be able to suit up this week to play if the Chiefs really needed him.

There’s a hole in the heart of the Kansas City Chiefs defense right now.

One obvious shadow is the fact that longtime Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson is now playing for the Oakland Raiders, the first training camp he has missed since he was drafted by K.C. in 2005. The unfortunate part of this training camp so far has one of the linebackers tasked with his replacement has also been missing as Reggie Ragland continues to sit with a knee injury.

Ragland came to the Chiefs last year in a preseason trade with the Buffalo Bills. It took him a bit to rehab from a torn ACL, but he came on strong in the season’s second half and even served as a vocal leader in the defense. It was easy to see how he’d replace Johnson as the captain in the middle, helping to line up and encourage his teammates in the front seven.

Fast forward to training camp and Ragland has been missing from practices due to a swollen knee. At first, Andy Reid insisted it was nothing big, which prompted expectations that Ragland would resume his place in the middle soon enough. Yet practice after practice has gone by and Ragland remains sidelined. His absence was then compounded by the signing of linebacker Otha Peters.

For Chiefs fans who took Reid at his word, suddenly there was cause for concern. Was Ragland not healing up as expected? Did the Chiefs lie about his injury in the first place? Nate Taylor from the Athletic recently spoke to general manager Brett Veach and got the word:

In short, Reid’s original explanation—namely, that Ragland’s knee had swollen on some longer flights—holds up but Veach also helped to fill in the details. Rather than let his knee heal after taking such a flight, Veach explained to Taylor that Ragland exacerbated the situation by  “doing a bunch of turf workouts.” In short, it’s flights plus workouts plus bad timing plus previous knee injuries.

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Would everyone like to see Ragland out there? Absolutely. Do the Chiefs absolutely need him out there right now? Absolutely not. And until they reach that point at the end of the preseason, the Chiefs aren’t going to do anything except take care of that knee with rest, rest and more rest.