Clyde Edwards-Helaire could see last golden opportunity with Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are likely going to give CEH a serious workload on Sunday.

Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs
Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs have been dealing with some injury concerns in the backfield for a few weeks now, but the situation is nearing a tipping point. While that's bad news in the eyes of most of Chiefs Kingdom, the truth is that it's likely the last golden opportunity for Clyde Edwards-Helaire as a member of the team.

To this point, Edwards-Helaire has largely been an afterthought in the offensive scheme through most of 2023, to the surprise of no one. From 1,100 yards from scrimmage in 2020 to 453 last season, CEH's workload had been diminishing already, and the Chiefs came into this year riding the same primary tandem in the ground game of Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon as the one-two punch.

However, the injury situation has altered things for the Chiefs at this stage. Right now, Isiah Pacheco has missed every practice this week due to a shoulder contusion and looks like he won't suit up after failing to even practice in a limited capacity. The Chiefs will undoubtedly miss him after he ran for 110 yards against the Packers in a losing effort last week, but the primary concern has to be getting him healthy for the postseason.

Behind Pacheco, McKinnon has also missed several practices and games due to a groin injury that's kept him out of recent weeks. This week, he's returned to practice and looks ready to go, but the Chiefs will still likely play it safe knowing he's working his way back to full strength. That leaves a door wide open for Edwards-Helaire, if he's ready to walk through it.

So far this season, Edwards-Helaire only has 184 total yards from scrimmage and is averaging a scant 3.9 yards/touch. Those numbers won't force anyone to respect his presence on offense, but for this reason, he might end up being a sort of secret weapon for K.C. to use. Edwards-Helaire has had a handful of useful snaps so far this year, but then again, his days as a well-rounded bellcow of sorts (or anything resembling a former first-round pick).

At this rate, Edwards-Helaire is living out his final few games in red and gold, a former first-round selection in 2020 whose fifth-year option was already declined. At that point, it was clear Edwards-Helaire was going to hit free agency at the earliest possible moment and turn over a much-needed new chapter for both team and player.

But what if this is a final gasp for Edwards-Helaire? What if this is an unexpected chance to put some points on the free agent board? What if the Chiefs decide to feature him in a limited offense and he rewards them for their short-term trust?

For all that be said about CEH in a negative sense, the one thing that he'll carry forward with him are the dozens of positive reports coming into the draft. Those are the reports that said he'd be ideal for Andy Reid and referred to him as the best pass-catching back in the class. Some team is going to give him a place to rebound, and others might get into the bidding if Edwards-Helaire can show some production in an important game in Week 14.

The overall story for Edwards-Helaire is a sad one in Kansas City, but that doesn't mean the last few pages aren't without promise. Edwards-Helaire could be facing a golden opportunity on Sunday if the injury reports prove true.

Edwards-Helaire has a big opportunity this weekend, and so do you thanks to the new-user offer at FanDuel Sportsbook! You'll win $150 in bonus bets is you place your first $5 or more on the Chiefs' moneyline odds vs. the Bills and KC wins! Sign up for FanDuel today.