What a rookie season it was for Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco.
The Rutgers product went from seventh-round flyer to Super Bowl starter, and he seemingly did so without breaking a sweat — averaging 4.9 yards per carry during the regular season and an even more impressive 5.3 during the playoffs. In the end, Pacheco ranked 10th in the Associated Press’ Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.
Because of all this, the breakout ball carrier shocked everyone during an interview on May 2, when he told USA Today reporter Mackenzie Salmon that he underwent surgery after the Chiefs triumphed over the Philadelphia Eagles. Here was the quote from Pacheco:
“You kind of get comfortable with being the champion, sitting around those few months of getting the knowledge of being a champion, partying and all that,” he voiced while discussing overcoming the feeling of complacency after a Super Bowl. “For me, as a rookie, I didn’t get to party as much during this time where we were able to be champions. I had to take care of my health and that doing the little things like surgery and stuff like that — therapy, to help me able to become stronger than I was this year for this upcoming season.”
Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco Sporting Left Wrist Brace During NFL Draft Promo
Although it’s unclear what body part Pacheco had surgery on, Chiefs Wire’s Charles Goldman speculated that a wrist injury could have prompted some treatment.
“We know that Pacheco landed on the final injury report ahead of Super Bowl LVII with a wrist injury,” Goldman explained. “In the fourth quarter, Pacheco took a big shot from former Eagles S C.J. Gardner-Johnson and was down for a bit after the play. He had two more carries after that, including a 10-yard run that would help ice the game for Kansas City.”
“It’s certainly not uncommon for NFL players to play through injuries and get them cleaned up during the offseason,” the KC insider went on. “From the sound of it, this might have been a lingering ailment, but we likely won’t know more about it until Andy Reid provides updates on the injury situation when OTA workouts begin later this month.”
If you’re paying close attention, you do catch a brief glimpse of the second-year running back sporting a left wrist brace during an NFL Draft promo on April 24. The cast can be seen around the 36-second mark of the clip below.
Chiefs Run It Back (Mostly) With RB Room Heading Into 2023
So far, the only major change in the Chiefs running back room heading into the 2023 campaign was veteran Ronald Jones being replaced with undrafted prospect Deneric Prince. NFL insider Aaron Wilson reported the UDFA’s financials on May 1 — which included massive guarantees for an undrafted rookie.
“Chiefs deal for undrafted Tulsa running back Deneric Prince: $231,000 guaranteed, $216,000 base salary guarantee and $15,000 signing bonus for former Manvel standout.”
Aside from that addition, the Chiefs re-signed Jerick McKinnon and have yet to trade or cut Clyde Edwards-Helaire despite declining his fifth-year option. That gives KC and quarterback Patrick Mahomes II the same top three ball carriers as last year with Prince competing for the RB4 job alongside La’Mical Perine and WR/RB Jerrion Ealy.
Arrowhead Report analyst Zack Eisen was quite pleased with the Prince signing on Twitter. He scouted: “My favorite Chiefs UDFA signing Deneric Prince (No. 8) 5’11”, 216 lbs, 4.41 40. I think he’s making this roster pretty comfortably. Great size, fast, and plays well through contact. He’s a willing pass blocker. Wasn’t asked to do much in as a pass catcher, but showed capability.”