Clyde’s bad hands
While the previous lie at least had some level of real veracity to the claim, this one is just a weird twist.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire fumbled the ball on Sunday at the single most inopportune time of his young career. He would love to have it back. We would love for him to have it back. It was an absolute stomach punch for Chiefs Kingdom and we all felt it. Some of us are still reeling.
That said, the idea that Edwards-Helaire has a fumbling problem is a lie. And maybe if we call it out now, the label won’t stick.
During his days at LSU, Edwards-Helaire lost a single fumble on nearly 440 touches. Last year, in 235 touches on offense for the entire season and postseason, Edwards-Helaire never once fumbled the ball. He didn’t even lose it only to then regain it. He just never lost track of the ball. This year was the same through the majority of two games—until the final play on Sunday.
There’s a reason Andy Reid said after Sunday’s loss, “Not worried about him fumbling because that’s not who he is.”
Here’s what I think is at work: I think the letdown of having Clyde Edwards-Helaire as the team’s lone first-round pick for a few drafts and the expectations hanging overhead are what is driving this particular narrative. He fumbles once and a large portion of people say, “He has bad hands”, but that’s not true.
What’s really going on is that we’ve not yet seen this reportedly dynamic, well-rounded back become a true offensive threat in the way that he was supposed to. The offense, at one point with a rookie back, was Tyreek, Travis, and Kareem. Teams had to defend them as a trio because Hunt was that dangerous in Reid’s offense. Chiefs Kingdom knows it can work that way because we’ve all seen it work that way.
So when the report comes in that CEH is so good that he warrants a first-round pick and that his pass-catching prowess is the stuff of legends, then we want to know why he’s averaging relatively modest production and is hardly ever used in the passing game.
There are things we can say with certainty about Clyde Edwards-Helaire. There are narratives that stick. But the idea that he has a fumbling problem only clouds some greater concerns with some real proof behind them.