Kansas City Chiefs starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a sprained MCL during the team’s loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 5, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The former first-round running back will be sidelined for a few weeks because of the injury, which means that Darrel Williams and Jerick McKinnon will get more opportunities out of the backfield moving forward.
But apparently, the Chiefs are shopping for other options at running back around the league as well.
Kansas City has looked into trading for Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs have looked into Mack, too. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is expected to miss extended time because of a knee injury suffered Sunday, so perhaps they add Mack to pair with Darrel Williams and Jerick McKinnon.
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Do Chiefs Need Another RB?
Even though Kansas City is short at running back with Edwards-Helaire’s absence, a case can be made that the Chiefs don’t need to add a running back, unless that back comes at a very, very cheap cost.
As this is being written on Tuesday, October 12, Kansas City has signed running back Elijah McGuire to their practice squad, per Rapoport. McGuire played for the Chiefs this summer before being placed on injured reserve on August 17 and then was cut on August 26. The addition of McGuire could be the extent of what the Chiefs want to do to address their running back ailments, however, it may also be one of a couple of moves they plan to make.
Williams and McKinnon are veterans that possess the ability to run the football, catch passes out of the backfield, and pass-protect. Because of that, outside of a practice squad addition like McGuire, there may not be a need to add another back to their roster. However, if Edwards-Helaire is sidelined for a month or longer, it would be wise for the Chiefs to stock up on veteran talent, which brings Mack back into the picture.
Mack’s NFL Resume
As a former fourth-round draft pick of the Colts, Mack has carried the football 559 times for 2,468 yards — 4.4 yards per attempt — and 20 touchdowns during his NFL career, fumbling the ball just three times during that span, per Pro Football Reference. He’s also caught 57 passes for 448 yards and two receiving scores.
Mack’s grip on the starting job in Indianapolis — which helped him produce 1,091 rushing yards and eight touchdowns during the 2019 season — was loosened when the Colts drafted Jonathan Taylor with the 41st overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. And once Mack got injured and was placed on injured reserve on September 16, 2020 and missed the rest of the season, Taylor became the every-week starter, making Mack nothing more than a reserve option this season.
With Taylor, pass-catching back Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins in the backfield, Mack’s value to Indianapolis has decreased to the point where he has apparently become an expendable trade chip.
Mack would be a solid option for a Kansas City team that wants to bolster their backfield with proven talent. However, as mentioned before, the cost of Mack would ultimately determine whether this trade makes sense for the defending AFC champions.
If Mack can be purchased for anything later than a third-round pick, then a case can be made that the Chiefs should pull the trigger. However, at this point, the combination of Williams, McKinnon, and McGuire should be enough to get the job done in Kansas City’s backfield during Edwards-Helaire’s absence.
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