On Friday, the seventh-year veteran spoke to the media for the first time since rejoining the team and provided some insight into a new hobby he used to keep his skills sharp in recent weeks: tennis.
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“As far as tennis, I just picked something up, you never know how far you can go if you don’t try something new,” said Breeland. “It helped me with my hand-eye coordination and different types of movements. It’s harder than you think, I thought it would be easy but it’s really hard.”
Breeland even posted an Instagram video of himself in action on the tennis court in late September.
The former fourth-round pick is hardly the first NFL player to incorporate tennis into his routine; just ask the New York Giants’ defensive line, Cleveland Browns star WR Odell Beckham Jr. and a host of others finding ways to get creative with their training.
Is Breeland in ‘Football’ Shape?
As a part of his punishment and increased COVID-19 protocols around the league, the 28-year-old cornerback has been away from the Chiefs’ facility since his suspension was handed down in late August. It’s clear that Breeland has been staying in shape, tennis and all, but being in “football shape” can be an entirely different question.
When asked if he feels like he’s in game shape at this point, Breeland acknowledged that it might take some time to ramp back up to his full capacity, such as the 95-100% of defensive snaps he played in all three postseason games in 2019.
“Working out, being off four weeks, you’re going to feel in shape as I do, but when it comes to football shape, it’s a totally different thing,” Breeland shared on Friday. “I’ve been through this scenario before coming off of injury, having to sit for awhile then get in the game and have to go full tilt. Those short breaths are going to come up pretty soon. I just put my trust in my coaches and really understand that they’re going to put me in the best position possible.”
Will Chiefs Elect to Activate Breeland For Week 5?
Breeland has practiced with his teammates all this week, but as of Friday, he has not yet technically been added to the active roster. The Chiefs did not make a corresponding roster move on Thursday after promoting practice squad RB DeAndre Washington to the active roster, suggesting that another transaction may be coming to clear a spot for Breeland before kickoff versus Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon.
When asked about the likelihood of Breeland suiting up this week, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told reporters that he thought Breeland “did a nice job” and would consult defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo for a decision.
Update: The Chiefs have placed rookie DE Michael Danna on injured reserve and officially activated Breeland less than 24 hours prior to kickoff, per the team’s official Twitter account on Saturday afternoon.