ith the regular season beginning for the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 12 against the Cleveland Browns, it’s worth looking into where the Chiefs’ offensive line depth stands with just a couple of weeks to go before the meaningful games are underway.
Two notable names to bring up here are offensive guards Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Kyle Long. Duvernay-Tardif-Tardif broke a bone in his hand prior to Kansas City’s preseason opener, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Long suffered a lower-leg injury in June, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, and has not participated in team activities yet this summer.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid provided an update on both offensive linemen prior to the team’s Week 2 preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
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‘They’re Healing Up Fast’
“Yeah, so both of them are doing well,” Reid told me media this week when asked if Duvernay-Tardif and Long are anywhere close to being able to practice. “They’re healing up fast. You’ve got to be a little cautious with both of them with the injuries they had, but they’re both doing very well. Larry’s is more of a bone healing, but that part is doing well. Then, Kyle had a major surgery there, so he’s doing well too. He’s moving around, he’s jogged around a little bit, so that’s a good thing.”
Rapoport mentioned during his original report that Duvernay-Tardif “does have a chance to play Week 1,” which means he has a much stronger chance of being ready for the regular-season opener than Long. Seeing that Reid noted Long is only jogging around a little bit at this point, it’s hard to imagine the eighth-year offensive lineman will be ready for the start of the regular season.
Remmers Back Practicing, O-Line Situation
Another update that Reid gave us earlier in the week is that offensive tackle Mike Remmers — who started at right tackle in Super Bowl LV and was battling for the starting job this summer before getting injured — is back practicing in full capacity. While it seems that 2020 rookie opt-out Lucas Niang has seemingly already won the starting right tackle job — barring any setbacks due to his performance against the Cardinals — it’s nevertheless good to hear an experienced veteran like Remmers is available in case something goes wrong, whether it be poor play or injury.
When Duvernay-Tardif and Long return from being injured, they will be reserve options for the offensive line. If both had been fully healthy during training camp, they would have been in the competition for the starting right guard job with rookie sixth-round pick Trey Smith. However, due to them both dealing with their respective injuries, Smith has claimed the starting job and will keep it unless he proves he isn’t capable of maintaining the job.
Given their experience in the NFL — a total of 12 years of NFL experience between the two of them — having Duvernay-Tardif and Long back healthy will be very valuable in the event that something went wrong at either guard position.
Assuming that Duvernay-Tardif and Long don’t begin the season on the physically unable to perform life, expect Yasir Durant, Nick Allegretti, and Bryan Witzmann to be the reserve options behind Smith and starting left guard Joe Thuney for the remainder of the summer and potentially the first few weeks of the regular season.
Follow Devon Clements on Twitter @DevClemNFL for more news and info regarding the Kansas City Chiefs.