Tyrann Mathieu activated from COVID list in time to play vs. Browns

Aug 20, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Kansas City Chiefs free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) warms up prior to facing the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Kansas City Chiefs free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) warms up prior to facing the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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After a week or more spent holding our collective breath in Chiefs Kingdom, the K.C. Chiefs have announced they’ve activated star safety Tyrann Mathieu from the COVID/reserve list just in time to play on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

The Chiefs made a surprise move when they first placed Mathieu on the COVID/reserve list late last week after he’d tested positive for the coronavirus. The move brought a cloud over the team’s secondary given his overall importance, but the team remained positive in the early going with the belief he would be back for the team’s season-opening game and even practice leading up to the Browns contest.

Unfortunately for the Chiefs and Mathieu, things had not gone according to plan until Saturday as Mathieu continued to miss practice throughout the week. Late this week, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo admitted they had a Plan B in the event Mathieu could not go. Finally on Saturday, the literal last day for the Chiefs to activate him in time to play on Sunday afternoon, the team got their answer.

The Chiefs get Tyrann Mathieu back at the 11th hour.

As the ultimate chess piece for what Spags likes to do defensively, Mathieu’s presence in the defensive backfield will be a major boost to a team that’s already excited about the young talent they have in the secondary. It will be interesting to see how Juan Thornhill looks in the early going alongside newer acquisitions like Mike Hughes and Deandre Baker, who only really came on at the end of last season.

Mathieu is in the midst of a contract season for the Chiefs, but both sides are expected to reach a significant extension at some point—potentially even after the season—as the financial picture clears for the Chiefs going forward.

Mathieu led the Chiefs with six interceptions last season as he was named to the Pro Bowl and honored as an All-Pro by the Associated Press.

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