Reggie Ragland injury update: Chiefs linebacker returns to practice

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16: Cornerback Marcus Peters
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16: Cornerback Marcus Peters /

The Kansas City Chiefs are happy to see inside linebacker Reggie Ragland return to practice, even in limited form, on Sunday in training camp.

The Kansas City Chiefs saw an emerging defensive leader return to the heart of the defense in practice on Sunday as Reggie Ragland took his place alongside teammates. It was the first practice for Ragland since he flew into Chiefs training camp with a swollen knee.

Ragland was slow to get going last year at this time as he was rehabbing a torn ACL suffered when he was still with the Buffalo Bills. This year, a swollen knee has plagued him for several days now after he took a couple long flights and tried to work out on artificial turf—a series of events that aggravated a knee that’s already given him problems in the past. The knee swelled in response to Ragland’s actions and simply needed time to relax, which meant that Ragland was slow to return to the field.

The Chiefs were never concerned too much about Ragland’s injury and always said he’d be ready to go if he was needed for a regular season game. However, the team also signed an extra linebacker in Otha Peters while Ragland was out, which insinuated that a camp body was needed as the team prepared for the first preseason game against the Houston Texans.

Ragland’s return will help the Chiefs base defense gel as a unit and will also help the former ‘Bama player grow further as a vocal leader on the team. Ragland and Anthony Hitchens are helping to replace a true team leader and captain in the middle as Derrick Johnson left in free agency to sign with the Oakland Raiders. His absence is certainly felt by all, and Ragland has been quick to grab the mantle among such a young defensive corps. Fortunately the team also has Justin Houston and Eric Berry to help on the defensive side as well.

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Ragland started 10 games for the Chiefs last year and had 44 tackles and 1 forced fumble for his efforts.