Head coach Andy Reid informed reporters that the key pass-catcher would practice today on November 23. Not long after, different media members shared visual evidence for Chiefs Kingdom.
“Your photographic proof that Juju is back to practice today,” tweeted ESPN’s Adam Teicher.
Chiefs’ JuJu Smith-Schuster Takes Major Step in Recovery
Fox 4 KC’s Harold Kuntz also sent out a video of both Smith-Schuster and safety Juan Thornhill stretching during warmups.
Barring some sort of setback, this return means Smith-Schuster is very close to clearing the NFL’s concussion protocol. Clearance would allow him to retake the field again in Week 12.
Chiefs Digest reporter Matt Derrick confirmed that practicing is the “final step in getting clearance from concussion protocol.”
The Chiefs were able to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers without their number-one wideout last weekend but it wasn’t easy. It took a 100-yard rushing performance from Isiah Pacheco and a brilliant showing from both Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce.
As for the wide receiving corps, unsung heroes like Justin Watson and rookie Skyy Moore led the way in the boxscore. The former had three catches for 67 yards while the latter totaled 63 off five receptions.
Smith-Schuster’s recovery just makes a deep Chiefs offense even deeper, especially considering the status of Kadarius Toney — who could “miss some time” according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. It’s never a bad idea to supply Mahomes with more weapons.
Rams QB Matthew Stafford ‘Ruled Out’ in Week 12
Another bit of news hit Twitter today as ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed that Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has been ruled out in Week 12 due to a believed “strained neck.”
The Chiefs were already favorites over the defending Super Bowl champions — who have been an absolute trainwreck in 2022 — but this reveal should skyrocket the betting odds.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler followed up, relaying: “Talked to multiple people who expect QB Bryce Perkins to have [the] inside track for [the] Rams starting job this week based on [the] tenuous health status of Matthew Stafford and John Wolford, but [the] Rams will adjust if health perks up. Either way, heavy practice workload coming for Perkins.”
Perkins entered the league as an undrafted prospect in 2020 and was described as a “dual-threat quarterback” out of college. He’s already appeared in two games this season — the only two of his NFL career — completing six of 11 passes for 61 yards. As a runner, Perkins has eight carries for 43 yards.
Recapping Latest Chiefs Roster Moves
We mentioned earlier that Kansas City decided to place running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on the injured reserve, sidelining him for at least four games. They also activated offensive tackle Lucas Niang off the reserve/PUP list in CEH’s place.
Chiefs Twitter announced two more minor moves later in the afternoon, both of which will occur at the tight end position. Apparently, practice squad TE Jordan Franks has suffered an injury and will be shifted to the practice squad’s reserve.
KC will immediately fill his spot with Kendall Blanton, which could involve a bit of gamesmanship. The undrafted tight end started his career with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019 and has been bouncing around their organization ever since. In 2022, he did also spend a brief period with the Washington Commanders in August before his initial stint on the Chiefs practice squad in September.
The Rams then poached Blanton from Kansas City on September 22 — and today everything comes full circle as the journeyman tight end rejoins the Chiefs on November 23.