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De'Anthony Thomas leaves Chiefs practice early, Justin Houston is absent and more day one minicamp news

The Kansas City Chiefs held the first day of their three-day mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. Read on for news and observations from practice.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Houston is absent

As expected.

De'Anthony Thomas exits early

The triumphant return of De'Anthony Thomas to the Chiefs practices was not so triumphant. Thomas hasn't been participating in the Chiefs OTAs due to this odd NFL rule.

The Chiefs were running 7-on-7 drills which required plenty of running for Thomas, who was bearing the high 80 degree temperature (just like everyone else, including me!).

After the 7-on-7 drills, the Chiefs moved to 11-on-11 work. I noticed that Thomas came up slow after the 7-on-7 drills. He looked awfully tired. After walking slowly for a minute, Thomas got back in there and caught a pass in the flat. He ran that to the end zone where he stopped, obviously very winded.

He came off the field and sat on the side with a towel over his head as the Chiefs trainers talked with him.

After practice, the Chiefs said he was sick. Sick of running in really humid weather? Possibly.

More on DAT:

  • He was among the group returning punts so it looks like he will get a shot to do that.
  • He caught several passes in the flat. I'm anxious to see if he can hit that corner in full pads.
  • He lined up at slot receiver and running back. He was in the backfield more than I would've predicted, but it's still early.

Dee Ford gets first team snaps

Frank Zombo has gotten the majority of the first team snaps opposite Tamba Hali with Justin Houston out. But on the first day of mandatory minicamp Ford was getting a significant portion. ESPN's Adam Teicher has a better eye than me and says Ford got every first team snap at outside linebacker.

Ford had a nice day, especially a sequence of plays against Jeff Linkenbach. It's early for pass rushers like Ford with practices being non-contact but he is obviously getting strong consideration from the coaching staff.

Sean Smith is also sick

Maybe it's something going around? I could've sworn I saw Smith out at practice early on but maybe not. We noticed later that he wasn't anywhere to be seen.

The Chiefs said Smith was sick.

In his place, Ron Parker continued to take first team snaps. So we don't know yet if Smith's demotion to the second team will continue this week.

Travis Kelce gets back on the field

Kelce wasn't able to do anything during OTAs, standing off to the side with his baseball cap on. But at mandatory minicamp, he did a little more, including some route-running. He isn't fully back -- he didn't participate in all the team activities -- but he is doing a little more.

The Chiefs said he and Kyle Williams left early to ice down.

That he was participating at all is a good step forward for Kelce.

Weston Dressler remains out

He was one of two players unaccounted for at Chiefs practice (the other being Justin Houston). Last week he hurt his hamstring and remained out this week.

For a new player, it's a tough break. This is the time to learn the offense and get acclimated with the offense. It's especially important for a player like Dressler who has a shot to contribute.

Junior Hemingway, back from strep throat last week. took the majority of the snaps at slot.

Four tryout players take part

Those players were Rutgers WR Mark Harrison, Cal Poly St. WR Cole Stanford, Utah State CB Quinton Byrd, Missouri CB Kip Edwards.

Harrison had an excellent catch where he had to go up and get a deep ball. He displayed his size and strength to pull it down.

More observations

  • Refs were in attendance. It looked like some sort of training exercise for them.
  • Eric Fisher continues to sit out team drills and any contact drills.
  • Zach Fulton and Jeff Linkenbach took turns at right guard. Linkenbach also saw some time at right tackle.
  • Alex Smith had a nice deep pass to Jamaal Charles. Considering he was in the open field, Charles takes that one to the house.
  • Also, a screen pass later on to Jamaal would've been a big gain.
  • Nice toughness from Donnie Avery to catch a slant pass with Marcus Cooper draping over him.
  • AJ Jenkins had two consecutive catches. One of them he stumbled trying to turn up the field and the other he was left alone for the catch.
  • Sanders Commings had an interception on a deep pass down the left sideline from Smith to Jamaal.
  • Vance Walker saw some first team snaps at defensive end.
  • Chris Owens was back at the nickel after missing time lately with an injury.
  • I saw some plays where Eric Berry and Sanders Commings were lined up deep at safety while Husain Abdullah was in that linebacker role.
  • Other Chiefs players on the sidelines were blocking my view so I didn't see the play but I heard a big cheer and saw Jamaal come running out of a crowd. Good bet Jamaal made a great play.
  • Athletic fullback? Anthony Sherman leaped high to pull down a pass in the flat.

Aaron Murray's thumbs up

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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