Chiefs Starter Returns From Injury: ‘What a Time to Be Alive!’

Rashad Fenton

Getty Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton returned to practice today on August 9.

The Kansas City Chiefs received some good news on the injury front on August 9, and it came from the player himself.

“First day out with the guys,” cornerback Rashad Fenton announced to fans, “what a time to be alive!!”

ESPN beat reporter Adam Teicher confirmed that “one of the Chiefs’ top CBs will be practicing today for the first time at camp.” Fenton had been recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

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Fenton Returns to New Surroundings

The Chiefs’ secondary has been a welcomed surprise at camp, with plenty of new faces that have impressed coaches and fans. Having said that, the two veterans of the cornerback group are L’Jarius Sneed and Fenton, who had been out all spring and summer to this point.

The Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope commented on his day-12 return, noting that the “CB competition [is] about to get very interesting.”

That’s putting it mildly. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been mixing and matching his corners throughout camp with everyone taking shifts in different roles. The margin for error has also been slim. Deandre Baker struggled early on and was promptly released.

Now Fenton joins a field of challengers that flaunts four rookies who are being seriously considered for the active roster — Trent McDuffie (lock), Joshua Williams (lock), Jaylen Watson and Nazeeh Johnson. Lonnie Johnson and Dicaprio Bootle are still in the conversation as well, along with special teams ace Chris Lammons among others.

An eight-game starter in 2021, Fenton should have no issue making the 53 but the question is where he’ll line up. The 5-foot-11 DB has excelled in the slot throughout his career but he’s also proven himself on the outside.

Midway through the season last year, Fenton ranked second for the entire KC roster according to Pro Football Focus’ overall marks at the bye. This summer, the same site pegged him as the Chiefs’ “secret superstar” heading into the 2022 campaign.

“Fenton was the Chiefs’ best-graded cornerback last season, and he now has three-straight NFL seasons with a PFF coverage grade of at least 74.4 to start his career,” wrote PFF’s Sam Monson. “Fenton allowed only one touchdown all season and gave up just 8.7 yards per reception from the 52 targets sent his way. The team allowed Charvarius Ward to leave in the offseason, opening up an opportunity for Fenton to step into a bigger role as an every-down player, something his play so far has earned.”

He’ll likely compete with Sneed, McDuffie and Williams for a starting job in 2022.

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Injury Update: Concern Over Fortson?

Following yesterday’s practice on August 8, Arrowhead Pride’s Pete Sweeney provided an injury update from camp.

“Kansas City’s injury list is growing,” he voiced. “CB Rashad Fenton (shoulder) [now back], OL Lucas Niang (knee), TE Jody Fortson (quad), WR Gary Jennings (concussion), DT Taylor Stallworth (knee) and WR Daurice Fountain (groin). Fortson’s now missed more than a week of practices.”

Given the extended absence from Fortson after a quad injury, there is a growing concern that the dynamic pass-catcher could miss the first preseason game. That wouldn’t be a huge deal but you don’t want this quad issue to linger too close to Week 1.

Fortson only appeared in six games last season before tearing his Achilles.

Defensive back Zayne Anderson also left practice early on August 9. Sweeney speculated that it could have been due to a potential illness, adding that the Chiefs should update them after practice.


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