After a week with some roster surprises to open the season, it sounds as if everyone is expected to play for the K.C. Chiefs in Week 2.
According to head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs have everyone back at practice on Wednesday, including defensive end Frank Clark and safety Tyrann Mathieu, as they begin their preparation for the Baltimore Ravens on the road for Sunday Night Football.
The Chiefs surprised everyone with the choices to hold back two of their best defensive players at the last minute in the team’s opening game against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1. The Chiefs walked away with a close 33-29 victory but suffered through some serious defensive lapses, especially in the first three quarters.
The Chiefs should get their defensive stars back in practice.
Clark sat out last Sunday due to a lingering hamstring injury that Reid said he couldn’t get quite right during warm-ups. Clark had missed some practice, and the Chiefs were only interested in maintaining a long-term perspective on the injury. Thus, Mike Danna got the bulk of starter’s reps across from Chris Jones at end while Alex Okafor filled in as well.
As for Mathieu, he was on the COVID/reserve list as recently as Saturday when the Chiefs activated him. The team made the right move in time to be able to play, but after the game, Reid said that he held back Mathieu despite the fact that the star safety wanted to play.
For the Chiefs, it seems as if they know they can win even when they’re not at full strength. They’re also thinking through the long-term ramifications of having a 17-game regular season that flows right into the postseason. Player health is paramount, which means making sure guys aren’t taking needless chances or coming back too soon from illness or injury.