Two days of Kansas City Chiefs minicamp have gone by and one key jersey has been missing on the practice field — defensive end Frank Clark.
After the first day of the mandatory spring sessions, the organization noted that Clark was an “excused” absence but did not go into detail beyond that. Today on June 15, NFL insider Ian Rapoport revealed the reason behind the pass rusher’s disappearance.
“The Chiefs have excused Pro Bowl DE Frank Clark from mini-camp,” informed Rapoport, “as he’s expecting the birth of his child any day.”
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Importance of Clark
Of course, this is absolutely a fair reason for Clark to miss minicamp. There are plenty of veterans around the league that don’t end up practicing due to nagging injuries and lengthy recoveries anyway and linemen generally get the least work in during the non-contact periods.
Having said that, it would be great to have Clark in attendance and he will be missed. The Chiefs don’t have many veterans at defensive end heading into 2022.
Outside of the versatile Chris Jones, who joked that learning the D-end position was “hard as hell” during his press conference this afternoon, Mike Danna’s three years of experience are the next most in the DE unit. For better or for worse, Clark has become a leader of this group and that makes his absence notable.
He’ll also most likely be incredibly important to this pass rush in 2022, starting across from rookie George Karlaftis. It looks like we’ll have to wait until training camp to truly see that duo in action but at the end of the day, that’s really no different than usual for the D-line.
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Notes From Day 2 of Minicamp
Pete Sweeney of Arrowhead Pride reported on the Chiefs’ attendance for day 2 of camp.
Those missing in action were Clark, offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr., tight end Blake Bell, defensive end Malik Herring, cornerbacks Rashad Fenton and Trent McDuffie, running back Jerick McKinnon, wide receiver Justyn Ross, and offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho.
McDuffie (sustained injury during day one), McKinnon and Wanogho were the additions — the rest missed their second straight day of practice. Bell and Herring are still the major question marks on the list after two unexplained absences. Right tackle Lucas Niang and cornerback Joshua Williams (injured during day one of camp) were present but did not participate.
Sweeney also tweeted that wide receivers Mecole Hardman and Skyy Moore got some more work in as they try and get their hamstrings up to speed. Daurice Fountain (WR/ST), on the other hand, was limited for the second straight day.
Aside from veteran wideout Josh Gordon leaving practice after being “shaken up,” there weren’t too many other injuries to report. The most curious case was the rookie corner, Williams, who did take some mental reps.
Sweeney detailed: “CB Joshua Williams, who has stood out when active during my looks, watched practice in a ballcap (unknown at this time what the issue is). I caught Williams watching defensive installs intently, gingerly going through the motions as he took mental reps.”
Although there appear to be several nagging injuries this spring, keep in mind that players will have about a month and a half off after minicamp. Some will train, but it also allows the body time to heal before August.