Chiefs Provide Encouraging Update on Starting Safety For Week 1

Juan Thornhill Chiefs

Getty Images Chiefs S Juan Thornhill suffered a torn ACL in December 2019.

With the majority of its starters seemingly decided just days ahead of the 2020 NFL opener, one of the few positions of intrigue remaining for the Kansas City Chiefs is the safety position opposite Tyrann Mathieu.

The availability of second-year S Juan Thornhill, one of the team’s biggest surprises as a rookie in 2019, remains a question mark as he works his way back from a torn ACL suffered in December. While general manager Brett Veach and the front office have long considered the start of the regular season as an attainable return date for the 24-year-old, the reality of that has remained in question throughout training camp.

However, on Sunday evening, the Chiefs provided a positive update on Thornhill’s comeback in the first release of the Week 1 injury report.

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The Chiefs listed six players in total, including two as limited participants, while five Texans made the list, all with limited participation. Thornhill (knee) was listed as a full participant in Monday’s practice along with backup RB Darrel Williams (hamstring), TE Deon Yelder (groin) and DE Alex Okafor (calf). The two limited participants, TE Travis Kelce (knee) and DT Derrick Nnadi (ankle), bring a slight cause for concern heading into Tuesday’s practice, just three days ahead of kickoff.

For Houston, the biggest names to watch will be newly-added WR Brandin Cooks, who is battling through a quad injury, and a pair of cornerbacks, Phillip Gaines (hamstring) and Lonnie Johnson Jr. (hip), who are viewed as quality contributors, if not starters for the Texans.

Chiefs Announce First Depth Chart of 2020

Whether Thornhill is a full go for Thursday night or not, Kansas City may have already provided a clue into their opening week plans at the safety position. On Saturday, the defending Super Bowl champions released their first unofficial depth chart of the season, which lists seventh-year veteran Daniel Sorensen as the counterpart to Mathieu.

There will be another shakeup in the secondary early on in the season as CB Bashaud Breeland serves a four-game suspension for an offseason incident involving law enforcement. It appears offseason addition and special teams ace Antonio Hamilton may see more regular defensive snaps in the slot, while second-year CB Rashad Fenton steps into Breeland’s starting role across from returning starter Charvarius Ward.


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