Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas refractured his surgically-repaired tibia at practice on Thursday, the team announced Friday.
Chiefs head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder explained the details of the injury to the media at a press conference.
“I’ll take you back to December 31, 2017, where he fractured his leg in a game, had emergency surgery in Denver, had a rod put in his leg,” Burkholder said of Thomas. “That rod is still in his leg. [Thursday] at practice, he had what we would all consider a freak accident, where he got stepped on from behind and refractured his leg. The rod is still in place. The rod didn’t bend, but he did have a fracture around the old fracture site, so we’ll have to take him from playing now and let that heal up. All indications are right now that he won’t need anything done with the rod, won’t need surgery. He’ll heal up on his own, but he’ll need some time to heal up.”
The Chiefs have yet to announce whether or not Thomas is headed for injured reserve. That is becoming an interesting conundrum for Kansas City given the players currently on the list that still may be able to return.
I consider those players to be safety Daniel Sorensen (which has been expected since preseason), right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and safety Armani Watts.
Since the Chiefs are only allowed to return two from that growing list, adding Thomas to it would likely end his season for good. The Chiefs’ 53-man roster is already tight because the team has had to carry both safety Eric Berry and offensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie, two players who may not play all year.
Berry hasn’t played all season because of a reported bone spur, and McKenzie is in the midst of a transition year as he learns how to play along the offensive line.
If the Chiefs do place Thomas on injured reserve, they have two options at wideout currently on their practice squad in Josh Crockett and Gehrig Dieter.
“We’ve got other guys that will step in and pick up the slack there,” head coach Andy Reid said. “I hate to see that happen with De’Anthony though.”
We’ll keep you updated here as this story develops.