Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins have been posted all over proverbial bulletin boards in Cleveland this week after trolling the Browns on Twitter on Sunday night. Now just two days away from the teams’ meet-up in the AFC Divisional Round, it appears Watkins won’t even have a chance to suit up and defend his commentary.
During his post-practice press conference on Friday, head coach Andy Reid provided his final injury update of the week, ruling out both Watkins (calf) and rookie LB Willie Gay Jr. (ankle) for Sunday’s playoff tilt.
Watkins and Gay were the only two Chiefs players not to practice this week. Gay was given an initial two-to-four week recovery timetable for the high ankle sprain suffered in the team’s Week 17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, while Watkins has been sidelined since the fourth quarter of Week 16 after aggravating his calf.
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Clyde Edwards-Helaire Still Has Chance to Play
Perhaps the bigger storyline is in Kansas City’s backfield, where rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who missed the last two practices recovering from hip and ankle injuries suffered in Week 15, still has a chance to suit up for his first career NFL playoff game.
According to Reid, the staff made the decision to ease up on CEH’s workload midweek and are taking his situation day-by-day leading up to kickoff. The 21-year-old is “making some progress,” but has been officially listed as questionable.
“Well, a couple days ago he moved around real well, and then we’ve just kind of backed off him,” Reid said, via Cody Tapp of 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City. “He’s still doing stuff, just not with the group. So, we’ll just see how he does here. We’re literally taking it day by day, so we’ll see how it rolls.”
Should the Chiefs keep Edwards-Helaire out of action, All-Pro running mate Le’Veon Bell will earn his fifth career playoff start, and first since he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017.
Chiefs Legend Jamaal Charles Impressed With CEH
Prior to his late-season injury, Edwards-Helaire had shown flashes of brilliance that made him the first running back taken off the draft board last April. One such spectator has been none other than former two-time All-Pro RB Jamaal Charles, who raised the standard of the Chiefs’ No. 25 jersey.
“I didn’t know he was going to be like this,” Charles told Heavy.com on Thursday. “I know he had great success at LSU. He’s made great plays, but the kid did a great job this year by being able to make tough runs, by staying on his feet and keeping his feet pumping. He’s surprised a lot of people by his [run after] contact.”
Charles, who is teaming up with Crown Royal this season, originally entered the league as a third-round pick (No. 73 overall) back in 2008. The decision by general manager Brett Veach to pick Edwards-Helaire last offseason made the 21-year-old the highest-drafted running back since Charles 12 years prior.
In 13 games to date, the LSU product has averaged 4.4 yards per carry while racking up 1,100 scrimmage yards and five touchdowns on 217 touches. His ability to operate in small spaces and create something out of nothing may be missed on Sunday, but there’s no doubt the future remains bright in the Kansas City backfield.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!