Kansas City Chiefs Mid-August Scouting Report
When camp opened I noted, "Quite honestly, I have no idea what camp will be like this year.’
In this most uncertain time during the dreaded Covid-19 event two things are almost sure to be a frequent occurrence… injuries, lack of conditioning and time lost to both.
It appears to be so and here it is:
DB Juan Thornhill (PUP)
OT Martinas Rankin (PUP)
DT Devaroe Lawrence (Excused)
LB Darius Harris (Excused)
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Dehydration)
WR Sammy Watkins (Groin)
WR Byron Pringle (Hamstring)
TE Deon Yelder (Groin)
LT Eric Fisher (Concussion)
DT Chris Jones (Groin)
DT Derrick Nnadi (Ankle)
CB Alex Brown (Knee)
CB Antonio Hamilton (Groin)
CB Lavert Hill (Hamstring)
DE Frank Clark did return to practice so that’s a good thing.
Between the nagging ailments, the excused absences and the new physical issues sure to come over the course of this year’s training camp sessions fantasy folks best be ready for some very choppy, even lousy play in the early going, especially from the offense.
I’m quite concerned about this year’s offensive line. Anyone who has been reading my KC Reports over the years knows I’ve never been a big fan of RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. The good doctor opted-out of the 2020 season to continue his medical services during this expansive health event, and for that I commend him. But LDT’s noble decision forced Coach Reid to install a new face into the line mix. It was assumed by many (me included) the newcomer Kelechi Osemele was brought in to fill the void at RG, but camp snaps reveal Osemele lining up in the LG spot and Andrew Wylie slotting in at RG. Another new cog, OT Mike Remmers, was set to get reps inside on the left but now appears to be assuming a swing lineman role, learning both OG responsibilities as well as fill in at OT if called on. Starting LT Eric Fisher’s concussion likely is that call for Remmers until Fisher is cleared. Coach Eric Bieniemystated, "These guys, they’re learning. They’re processing information." With the shifting of positions and the player outages for various reasons, line play in front of franchise QB Patrick Mahomes could very well be spotty and mistake-prone.
Much is going to be expected of rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire this year and the first-year tailback has been getting in a bunch of work early-on. Maybe a bit too much as he mostly sat and watched the 3rd padded practice session. CEH was dealing with dehydration which is not a major issue. Hopefully the rook will not miss many reps with the first team. Fantasy GMs are looking at Edwards-Helaire as a potential first round option and will be counted on by fanballers as much as the Chiefs on-field coaches will. He is seeing reps with the starters on offense and on special teams.
CEH got a good sideline pop from DE Frank Clark in one of the contact portions of practice, enough to draw attention of observers looking in. Coach Bienemycommented, "Welcomed the rookie in, that’s part of the game."
Fanballers wondering about the depth and look of the Chiefs backfield might note Clyde Edwards-Helaire is seeing a majority of first-team snaps (when not dehydrated) but RB Elijah McGuirealso joined in on some first-team drills. Darrel Williamswas the other RB seeing first-team repetitions. Elijah McGuire made a couple of neat plays, but Williams took over as RB1 when Edwards-Helaire took a dehydration powder. NOTE THAT ONE FANTASY FOLKS; DARREL WILLIAMS is the likely CUFF for CEH!
Second-year pro WR Jody Fortson had made a few highlight grabs with the second-team. He’s making a play for a game-day roster spot in the early going.
Patrick Mahomes seems to have found a favorite WR target while Sammy Watkins sits out with his hammy. Gehrig Dieter and Mahomes connected at least 4 times for TDs during one practice day. Gehrig is not new to this program entering his 4th year with KC. He’s used his time on the practice squad and support units well as Coach Reid informed reporters, "Dieter has every position down and knows them all." This may be the year Gehrig makes some pro noise given the potential for multiple injuries to starting wideouts this season. Hamstrings and wide receivers tend to go together when the routines are abnormal… and we are most definitely in abnormal routines these days.
While we are on the WR thread, here’s hoping Coach Andy keeps restrictor plates on Tyreek Hill until the season opener. Same with TE Travis Kelce.
Training camp rolls on and the road so far is a bit bumpy. Defense is ahead of the offense and I suspect that will be the case for many teams running right into the first few games. That’s been proven in Chiefs camp. CB BashaudBreeland has been a stand-out. He is getting play with the starting unit despite opening the schedule with a 4-game suspension. Rookie DE Mike Danna is getting a long look from defensive coaches. Lots of energy and athleticism. Danna is able to load up at LB or DE but has seen mostly work up front at end.
DB Juan Thornhill is still out on the PUP. Eyes on this guy once he makes it back to the field.
OK. More to come from Chiefs camp in my next EYE in the SKY REPORT.
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