The last opponent faced by Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t quite sure if their running back will see them the second time around.
The Chiefs are taking a wait-and-see approach with Edwards-Helaire as they prepare for the postseason run of 2021. With the regular season concluded, the Chiefs already have given their former first-round pick a healthy two-week break even after stating that an MRI on his shoulder looked positive. However, head coach Andy Reid told reporters on Monday that the team was still going to be patient with him.
Edwards-Helaire has had a mixed bag of a 2021 season, at least so far, due to injuries that have kept him from putting together a larger body of work. An MCL sprain took him out in Week 5 and kept him from playing again until Week 11. Then came the shoulder injury suffered against Pittsburgh in Week 16 that ended his year.
The Chiefs are taking a patient approach with Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s return.
On the whole, Edwards-Helaire has never carried more than 17 times in a game this season and he only has 119 on the year overall. After putting up 1,100 yards from scrimmage in his rookie year, he didn’t even cobble together 650 yards this season while others like Darrel Williams and Derrick Gore have proven to be productive and available.
The good news for Edwards-Helaire at this point is that the Chiefs are clearly ready to see what he can do, with Coach Reid stating he’s made “great progress” with the energy. Depending on how he looks in the early days of practice, the Chiefs might be ready to give him a clear path to postseason carries.
The Chiefs saw Williams leave their last game with the toe injury, and with Edwards-Helaire’s lack of availability, the entire backfield is a bit thin at this point. Fortunately the Chiefs have watched younger or less proven players rise to the occasion in 2021.