Chiefs lose OL Kyle Long with knee injury during voluntary training |
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The offensive line that the Kansas City Chiefs have aggressively overhauled this offseason has been hit by a knee injury from veteran Kyle Long during voluntary training that could require surgery and prevent him from participating in the training camp.
Long, 32, came out of a year-long retirement designed in large part to get him back to good health to sign a one-year contract with the Chiefs, who completely overhauled their offensive line after being wiped out by injuries and strikeouts last season. . But he didn’t make it through three weeks of training before another injury sidelined him.
“We’ll just see how he does here. It doesn’t look like ligaments, but we’ll see, ”Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the last of practice on Thursday. “There is a chance he will need to have surgery, but we’ll see where he is.
The Chiefs begin a mandatory three-day minicamp on Tuesday, then are on leave until they return to training camp in late July.
Long has spent most of his career in right guard, but he was also a Pro Bowl selection in right tackle, and the Chiefs were keen to see him play both positions. Now they are watching former starter Laurent Duvernay-Tardif coming back from refusing to play right guard and veteran Mike Remmers or 2020 draft pick Lucas Niang to play right tackle.
The Chiefs are also relying heavily on Trey Smith, who fell in the sixth round of the April Draft due to his medical history.
“We’re lucky to have some good players in there,” said Reid, “and then Larry comes back. You add it all up with (Andrew) Wylie, who has a few years of starting under his belt, and you should be fine.
Duvernay-Tardif is expected at the mandatory minicamp, despite travel concerns due to COVID-19. He has been to his native Canada, where the trained doctor has spent the past year helping people who have contracted the coronavirus.
Despite Long’s injury, the Chiefs appear happy with the job they’ve done over the past three weeks, when several teams opted to skip voluntary practice altogether. This has been especially valuable for the last two rookies harvests, those who missed the entire offseason schedule last year due to COVID-19 and those who have just learned the ropes of the NFL.
“Of course it was tough for the guys who came in last year to get into OTAs and minicamps,” said Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr., who returned from a meniscus tear suffered late. January that kept him away from the Super Bowl.
“I understand things that I didn’t understand last year,” he said. “These are the basics that make good become great.
Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward has signed his restricted free agent offer, which means he will earn around $ 3.4 million for the coming season. Ward, 25, was traded to the Chiefs just before the start of the 2018 season and has been a valuable high school contributor, starting 31 of 43 games over the past three seasons.
The Chiefs put out an initial tender on Ward in mid-March. That meant any other team could sign him, but the Chiefs would have had the right to match any offer.
Reid said the majority of players and staff have been vaccinated, although he hasn’t done everything possible to encourage players to get vaccinated. Instead, the Chiefs provided league information and made medics available to answer any questions.
“I do what’s best for me: I get the vaccine,” Gay said, “but it’s to help me focus on the things that are important, not worrying about masks and having to catch COVID or something, I’m just taking the information given.
As the Chiefs were busy rebuilding their offensive line, they quietly added defensive tackle Jarran Reed to bolster their defensive line. The move could have even more impact than expected, as the Chiefs plan to use incumbent defensive tackle Chris Jones as a casual forward.
“Chris is a great guy. You can tell it’s his team and we are following suit, ”Reed said. “He’s a great player, really funny. Really cool guy. The way he plays is self-explanatory. One of the best in the league. “