The K.C. Chiefs have been tested a bit throughout training camp and the preseason by injuries to the offensive line, keeping some key competitors away from practice and exhibitions. The latest player forced to miss a bit of time is Center Austin Blythe, who has been sidelined after having surgery for a sports hernia last week.
Per Matt Derrick, Blythe is reportedly doing well following the procedure, but it’s unknown how long he will be out of practice.
The Chiefs are, of course, in a much better situation along the offensive line overall than they were the last time they were injury-plagued there. Despite myriad injuries, the Chiefs still have all of their presumed starters as well as several backups, a status bolstered by the amount of players allowed on an offseason roster (now down to 80).
Austin Blythe sits out K.C. Chiefs practice after sports hernia surgery.
Blythe joined the Chiefs this offseason on a one-year deal in free agency after the team allowed Austin Reiter to walk. Reiter had served as the primary starting center for each of the last two seasons, but the Chiefs were ready to upgrade at the position. First they signed Blythe away from the L.A. Rams in order to have a short-term starter and competitor, and then they drafted Creed Humphrey in the second round out of Oklahoma to round out the position, Humphrey, at present, has held down the starter’s reps for the entirety of the preseason.
At present, the Chiefs are also without offensive linemen Kyle Long, who was signed out of retirement this offseason as a potential starter at right guard or right tackle, and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who returned this year after opting out in 2020 in hopes of reclaiming his starting right guard role. Backup interior lineman Yasir Durant is also sidelined while in the team’s concussion protocol.
It will be interesting to see how the Chiefs handle Blythe’s role in camp as he and others fight for limited backup roles. Blythe has gotten a bit of work at guard and has proven to be able to start along the interior. Yet that’s also true of other players such as Mike Remmers, LDT, Andrew Wylie, Nick Allegretti and more. Final roster cuts are due next Tuesday, August 30.