Chiefs’ Andy Reid Addresses RB Isiah Pacheco’s Surgery, Injury Timeline

Andy Reid

Getty Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid at the 2023 NFL Combine.

News of an offseason surgery for Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco first surfaced during an interview on May 2.

The second-year starter let the information slip himself and not long after, Rutgers columnist Kristian Dyer reported that Pacheco had surgery on both his wrist/thumb and a torn labrum that he apparently played with for most of the season. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid addressed this story for the first time on May 8.

“He did [have surgery],” Reid confirmed, adding in typical Big Red fashion: “He’s making progress, we’ll just see how he does with it.” The Chiefs HC admitted that he cannot provide an exact timeline on Pacheco’s recovery at this moment before noting that “he is doing well” and that “he goes through all the steps out there [during] phase two,” but he just “can’t get hit” right now.

Recapping What We Know on Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco

Kansas City is being careful with Pacheco right now and so long as it doesn’t prevent the lead ball carrier from starting Week 1, most Chiefs fans will likely welcome that caution. After all, Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are typically for newcomers and Pacheco already picked things up swimmingly last spring and summer.

Just for reference though, here is what we know about Pacheco’s surgery so far:

The half-back first told USA Today reporter Mackenzie Salmon that he underwent surgery while his teammates were celebrating a championship. This admission came on May 2.

“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,” Pacheco voiced while discussing complacency with Salmon. “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 did that [by] 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.”

Then, on May 6, Dyer wrote that “a source close to the situation told Rutgers Wire that Pacheco played in the Super Bowl win over the Philadelphia Eagles with not just a broken hand but also a torn labrum.”

Dyer detailed: “Pacheco broke a bone located between the wrist and thumb in one of his hands. This injury didn’t seem to slow down Pacheco very much as, in the Super Bowl, he had 15 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown in the game’s second quarter… A week after the Super Bowl win, Pacheco had surgery by Dr. Mike Guss to repair the broken bone.”

The Rutgers reporter added that the torn labrum “required surgery two weeks after the Super Bowl,” noting that “this surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.”

Pacheco was also seen sporting a left wrist/hand brace during an NFL Draft promo on April 24, which lines up with all the information above. The protective cast can be seen around the 36-second mark of the promotional clip.

We will continue to monitor Pacheco’s recovery throughout the offseason program. As far as insurance, the Chiefs did re-sign veteran Jerick McKinnon, hold onto former starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire despite trade speculation, and bring in UDFA Deneric Prince on a deal with guaranteed money.

After Reid spoke on May 8, Fox 4 KC’s PJ Green tweeted that “if Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco is out for a lengthy time period, CEH is back in the fold (for a small period at least) and UDFA Deneric Prince makes a lot of sense as a short-term replacement.”

Chiefs HC Andy Reid Speaks Highly of UDFA RB Deneric Prince

During the same May 8 press conference, Coach Reid told the KC media that the organization likes what they see in Prince so far.

“He’s a good-looking kid, picks things up well,” Big Red praised. “Size, I mean that’s the thing that jumps out at you. Size, strength, and he caught the ball well. We knew he could run it. We’ll see how he does once we get to that point [of camp] but we’ve seen that on tape.”

The Tulsa product weighs in at 6-foot, 216 pounds according to NFL Network.

After day one of rookie minicamp on May 6, Arrowhead Pride’s Pete Sweeney labeled Prince as an early “standout” along with LB Buddy Johnson, WR Nikko Remigio and CB Anthony Witherstone Jr.

The promising UDFA is expected to push veteran La’Mical Perine and 2022 undrafted talent Jerrion Ealy for a roster spot behind Pacheco, McKinnon and CEH this summer.

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