Chiefs Analyst Backs Benched Starter: ‘Too Soon to Count Him Out’

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Getty Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on November 13, 2022.

Whether you’re a Kansas City Chiefs fan, an inquiring fantasy football manager, or just a curious observer, many are interested to know if the Andy Reid regime has officially begun the process of moving on from first-round running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

It certainly appeared that way in Week 10, as CEH’s role totally disappeared against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was given zero carries and four total snaps on offense — with two incompletions on passing targets — surrendering his workload to upstart rookie Isiah Pacheco. All in all, it was a nonexistent day at the office for Edwards-Helaire.

Despite that, Coach Reid was unwilling to admit that the organization minimized his role purposefully. “We don’t go in thinking [he won’t get carries],” the Chiefs HC told reporters on November 16, “but because of the way the series worked — short series here, he gets in for three plays and he’s out… the numbers got skewed. It’s kind of what happened with Pacheco [earlier in the season]. We’re working through it and it’s not because of his ability.”

Chiefs Analyst Predicts Clyde Edwards-Helaire Resurgence

Is the running back rotation truly dead and buried in KC? Fans might hope the answer is yes but Reid’s comments say otherwise.

If Big Red is speaking truthfully, an Edwards-Helaire resurgence could be possible as soon as this weekend. During an article with Arrowhead Pride, analyst Matt Stagner agreed with that theory, naming CEH as his Chiefs’ “value sleeper” versus the Los Angeles Chargers.

“The running-back-by-committee thing can be frustrating,” Stagner began. “Whether it’s costing some of us fantasy matchups or causing the team to be wildly inconsistent running the football, Kansas City just doesn’t seem to have its running game quite figured out.”

He then compared the two ball carriers more closely.

“[Edwards-Helaire has] put together four pretty good games this season — including the game against the Chargers in Week 2,” Stagner reasoned. “He’s found the end zone six times while averaging 4.2 yards per carry and 8.9 yards per catch. But after his impressive performance against Jacksonville, Isiah Pacheco also has four good games — and a 4.7 yards per carry average. Recency bias aside, these two backs have been similarly effective this season.”

“The difference is that when they actually use him, Edwards-Helaire offers much more in the passing game,” he concluded. “It’s far too soon to count him out of this rotation. In fact, I think there’s a chance he’s back to being the lead back on Sunday night. The pendulum will swing back in his direction. The only question is when it will happen.”

Andy Reid Reveals Conversation With Clyde Edwards-Helaire

It feels like the majority of KC’s supporters are ready for a change after Pacheco displayed some juice with 82 yards on Sunday, but is the coaching staff on the same page?

The most interesting quote from Reid was when he added that the same thing happened to Pacheco earlier in the year. The rookie has had four outings with less than five rushing attempts. One came in Week 2 against the Chargers.

“The part I love about Clyde is Clyde wants to play,” the Chiefs HC voiced this week. “I wouldn’t expect anything less than that. How he handled it was like a pro but he wants to play, and I would think less of him if he didn’t want to play.”

These responses from Reid are reminiscent of the answers he gave when asked about Ronald Jones II. Either way, we’ll find out whether or not Big Red is just blowing smoke on Sunday Night Football. This is a big game and there’s certainly no room for pleasantries.

In the coaching staff’s eyes, the top running back should get more carries assuming the game is competitive — period. This is the NFL after all, not pee-wee ball where everybody plays.

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