Frank Clark played through pain for AFC Championship
By Greg Morse
After having a dominant performance in the AFC Championship game, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid revealed that Frank Clark played through cramps.
One of the bigger storylines leading up to the Kansas City Chiefs playing the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship was the Chiefs’ pass rush against a porous Bengals offensive line. The Chiefs’ front seven quickly put that mystery to bed by sacking Joe Burrow four times in the first quarter.
One of the stars of the game was Chiefs defensive end Frank “the Shark” Clark. He only had 1.5 sacks, but his presence was constantly felt throughout the entire game, especially by Joe Burrow.
Before the game, Clark was fifth all-time in playoff sacks. After winning his third AFC Championship? Third place. But here’s what’s really crazy. Clark started cramping up during the game.
During Mitch Holthus’ weekly interview with head coach Andy Reid on the Chiefs Kingdom Show, Holthus asked Reid about the defensive performance, especially up front. Reid admitted that Frank Clark had an impressive game despite getting cramps at some point during the game.
It’s pretty well known that Clark has struggled with stomach problems throughout his career. At least once a season he misses some practices because of it. But it must have been especially brutal for the pains to return in the biggest game of the season so far.
Andy Reid also talked about how other players on the team and defense were dealing with injuries as well. Many of these were obvious, as the team lost cornerback L’Jarius Sneed early, and linebacker Willie Gay also got shaken up. But there were apparently other injuries that were less noticeable, like Clark’s cramps.
It says a lot that Clark fought through the pain and continued to give it his all throughout the entire game. It was clear at the end that he was not happy with the trash talk from the Bengals the previous week. (Warning: Explicit language ahead.)
Here’s to hoping the Shark and the rest of the team get healthy ahead of Super Bowl LVII. They’re going to need it when they go up against the Philadelphia offensive line.