Turk Wharton's return comes at good time in Chiefs camp

The Chiefs welcomed back at least one defensive tackle who has been missing.

Kansas City Chiefs v Indianapolis Colts
Kansas City Chiefs v Indianapolis Colts / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs have been missing a familiar face or two along the defensive interior. While the world waits on Chris Jones to return from a holdout (or reach a long-term deal with the team), the Chiefs have also been without Turk Wharton inside since training camp began due to injury.

On Tuesday, however, Wharton returned and the sight of him back in camp was a heartening one.

Wharton has been sitting out of all on-field activities of the Chiefs for quite some time—going back to last season when he tore an ACL in Week 5 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Throughout the offseason, Wharton was forced to rest and rehabilitate his leg instead of focusing on getting stronger for the following year.

The Chiefs welcomed back at least one defensive tackle who has been missing.

Even as camp began, Wharton remained out and he was placed on the team's Physically Unable to Play (PUP) list. That meant that the defensive line has been without both their best player and one of their other reliable vets while trying to mesh with new faces and set the tone for a new season.

Wharton is entering a very, very important season for his own career. He's just now only 25 years old (with a June birthday) and if he can prove he's healthy once again, he'd hit the open market with championship experience, plenty of projectable youth, and a well-rounded skill set that should make him a desirable target.

Beyond that, however, Wharton is also an important figure for the Chiefs, especially as Jones continues to sit out of camp activities. The Chiefs aren't exactly loaded inside, so any chance for potential contributors to find their way into game shape and/or better themselves in practice is a worthy exercise.

Wharton has always served as a heartening story of a true hidden gem. As a prospect out of Missouri S&T, Wharton was a regional prospect at best, but there was no denying his skill set was pro ready when offered the chance. Now he's being offered another chance—to play a bigger role for a team often in primetime before he hits free agency.