Already twice this week, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has made a point of it to compliment LeSean McCoy.
The 31-year-old running back who came to Kansas City the same day the Buffalo Bills released him earlier this month dealt with an ankle injury all of last week, missing practice Wednesday before working out fully on Friday and ultimately playing two and a half quarters against the Baltimore Ravens in the Chiefs’ 33-28 win.
On Monday, Reid called McCoy, who had 80 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, a “great example” for rehabbing his ankle enough to perform. Reid expounded on the point when asked on Wednesday.
“I think it’s just a willingness to spend time here (undergoing injury treatment),” Reid said of McCoy. “He just stayed and worked. It’s one of those injuries where the more you work it, the better you’re going to get. But it takes a lot of time and effort, and you have to kind of push through some things there. He did. He worked it, and as a result, he was able to play. I think it’s a good example to the guys. There are certain injuries that you can’t do that with. This is one that you can and you’re not going to hurt your career or your future – to not be able to walk or anything like that.”
Looking back through piece by @pgsween , its clear that in point #2 that AR is attempting to use certain individuals to set tone w/ injuries & how they are dealt with. Over my years in league, its definitely a mindset not everyone has@ArrowheadPride https://t.co/eaA8AlEpqt— Aaron Borgmann (@RehabAllStar) September 24, 2019
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said that the 11-year veteran has fit in “perfectly” with the team during his short tenure.
“His mentality, his attitude, he’s a guy that loves this game,” Mahomes said. “He loves playing football with guys that love playing it with him, so for him he’s added that veteran leadership, of course, being here.
“He knows how to go out there and have success, but he’s added another guy in the locker room that you can really gel with and have a lot of success with.”
As McCoy has found a way into the lineup, Damien Williams hasn’t practiced due to the knee injury he suffered in the Chiefs’ game against the Raiders on September 15, opening the door for second-year back Darrel Williams.
Once McCoy gave all he could on Sunday, it was Darrel — not rookie Darwin Thompson — who came into the game to take most of the reps at running back.
“He played for us last year in kind of the same type of role,” Reid said of Darrel. “He’s just Mr. Consistent and tough. He’s a smart kid, so he knows everything protection-wise that’s going on. Patient runner, but when he goes, he’s going to hit you. He brings a lot of weight behind him. He can put his shoulder down and get you a couple of extra yards there.”
Darrel finished with nine carries for 62 rushing yards and five receptions for 47 receiving yards, including a 16-yard gain on a screen to ice the game. When asked what he learned about Darrel on Sunday, Mahomes said it was nothing he didn’t already know.
“I already knew that he’s a playmaker,” Mahomes said. “He’s a guy that when he gets his opportunity, he makes play. You saw it a little bit at the end of last season where he got in the game and was ready to go after not playing really the whole season until then, and then now him getting in. He’s always prepared and makes sure he’s ready to go, and when he gets the opportunity, he makes the most of it.”
Much was made of the Chiefs handing Damien the starter title this offseason given the fact that he had never carried the ball more than 50 times in a single year. Then once McCoy arrived, Reid said the Chiefs viewed both players as starters.
Now that Williams has missed a game and his fourth straight practice, it appears McCoy should get the first carry when the Chiefs travel to Detroit on Sunday.
“Yeah, he’s got a couple of grey hairs,” Reid said of McCoy as the media laughed Wednesday. “He still has the vision and the shiftiness. He was never the fastest guy in the world. He’s fast enough, but that’s not his game. His game is the great vision and the ability, with the quick feet, to move. He still has that. He’s got a burst. He can catch. I mean, we’re not asking him to go on every down.
“We probably did that more in Philadelphia than what we’re doing now. So, I can’t answer that part because he’s in a rotation. The vision and the feet are about the same.”
With McCoy becoming the guy and Darrel emerging, where does that leave Damien?
Based upon Reid’s words, it is a point to watch.