The 2023 Super Bowl is about a week and a half away, but the Kansas City Chiefs just provided their initial injury report for the NFL finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.
A total of 10 pretty important Chiefs contributors were listed on this “estimated” bye week injury update, and four of them were considered to have a serious enough ailment that they would have missed practice entirely today if there was one. Those four were:
- WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee).
- WR Kadarius Toney (ankle/hamstring).
- WR Mecole Hardman (pelvis).
- CB L’Jarius Sneed (concussion).
Two players were also deemed “limited” — linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (shoulder) and guard Trey Smith (ankle) — although a recent report on Gay seemed pretty optimistic that he’d be out there for the big game in Arizona. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II (ankle), running backs Isiah Pacheco (wrist) and Jerick McKinnon (ankles), and wide receiver Justin Watson (illness) were all listed as a full practice on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
4 Chiefs In Doubt for Super Bowl on Early Injury Report
Keep in mind, it’s extremely early and statuses could potentially change from now until February 12, but four KC players appear to be the most in doubt ahead of the Super Bowl. Those pieces are obviously Smith-Schuster, Toney, Hardman and Sneed.
What’s scary about that is that three of them play the same position. By the end of the AFC Championship, Mahomes was slinging the ball to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, rookie Skyy Moore, and special teamer Marcus Kemp at wide receiver. Somehow, the probable 2022 MVP still did enough to secure the victory despite all the absences.
Although there has been no further update on these three at this time — as well as Sneed — the hope is that at least one of them is good to go against Philly, if not more. The KC media will get their first brief look at practice on Thursday, Feb. 2.
As for other general notes, tight ends Travis Kelce and Jody Fortson appear to be cleared of injury after showing up on the report ahead of the Bengals outing, and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire remains on the injured reserve for the time being.
CEH did address the fanbase after the Chiefs won the AFC Championship, tweeting: “Lol leave me alone 😂😂 Been runnin 4 lika month inna half lol. Not my call 2nd in 3 years though!! I love it 💛❤️”
Chiefs HC Andy Reid Was ‘Proud’ of Team for Fighting Through Injuries vs Bengals
While addressing the media on January 30, head coach Andy Reid noted that he didn’t have any updates on injuries but was very “proud” of the way his team overcame adversity versus the Bengals.
“I’m proud of the guys that pushed themselves through the nicks and bruises and sprains and everything else that we had,” Reid voiced. “We were down to three wide receivers, our secondary — we were missing a couple of guys there — [but] everyone pushed through and made it work. So, very proud of that.”
One area where the reserves really stepped up versus Cincy was in the secondary. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo utilized four rookie DBs in key roles during the AFC Championship including Trent McDuffie, Jaylen Watson, Joshua Williams and Bryan Cook.
Reid commented on the impressive rookie class on Monday, stating: “I remember talking to the guys about Bill Walsh when he had that group of rookies in the secondary — the Ronnie Lott group — they were all rookies and they end up going to the Super Bowl. It seems like a long time ago that I mentioned that to the guys, to our coaches at least, and here we sit. Obviously, there was a concern but there was an optimism there too that it can be done.”
Coach Reid credited those rookie strides to “work ethic” and “confidence.”