In recent weeks, a few of the most important pieces of the Kansas City Chiefs offense — QB Patrick Mahomes, LT Eric Fisher and RT Mitchell Schwartz — have undergone surgery to repair significant injuries suffered leading up to Super Bowl LV.
On Monday, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach addressed the media likely for the last time before the NFL Draft in April, and provided updated recovery timelines for all three players.
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Fisher & Schwartz Projected to Return by Training Camp
The latest news out of Arrowhead is very encouraging for Chiefs Kingdom, especially regarding Fisher, who suffered a torn Achilles late in the AFC Championship game on January 24.
According to the Chiefs GM, the former No. 1 overall pick, along with his right side counterpart, is now expected to return to the field by the time training camp rolls around this summer.
“Mitch just recently had his disc worked on and we’re hopeful for him to return to training camp and same thing with Fish [Eric Fisher],” Veach said during Monday’s press conference. “We’re hopeful both these guys will complete the rehab and be available for training camp and to start the 2021 season. We’d probably say Pat [Mahomes] is ahead of them just because of that type of injury and probably quicker recovery.”
If you thought you heard wrong, as did the media, who followed up with Veach to confirm the timeline on Fisher was indeed correct.
“I’m looking at my notes right here,” Veach reiterated to The Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger. “Achilles surgery [on] 1/29. Based on Rick [Burkholder] and his medical staff, he’s projecting a mid-August return. How that works, everything is different and everyone recovers differently. … You know how that works, that’s always to be determined until the player actually reports back to camp and goes through the offseason and sees where he is.”
— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) March 1, 2021
Because both tackles are now on the other side of 30 years old, their recovery was (and still is) a huge question mark given their status and importance on the roster. While the latest update is a pleasant surprise, it’s not totally implausible considering Fisher’s initial recovery timeline was estimated between six and seven months back in January by FOX Sports’ athlete injury and performance analyst Dr. Matt Provencher.
With Chiefs’ brass now expecting to have both of Mahomes’ edge protectors back, that could complicate how Veach and the front office handle their bloated salary cap situation. Currently sitting approximately $19 million over a projected $185 million team cap for 2021, both Schwartz and Fisher have been frequently named as potential cap casualties or trade candidates to help the club relieve some financial burden in the coming weeks.
Mahomes Given 3-Month Recovery Timeframe
As for Kansas City’s $500 million man under center, Mahomes is also expected to be a full participant in training camp, but should be able to return even sooner.
“Pat had his toe surgery on 2/10,” Veach said. “Talking to Rick late last week, it’s a three-month recovery. So we’re hopeful, somewhere around that mandatory minicamp, if we have [it]. We certainly think by training camp he’ll be good to go and we’ll be smart with him.”
This year’s minicamp dates have yet to be finalized by the league, but if previous years are any indication, the 2018 NFL MVP has a chance to be back on the field by early June.
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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!