When Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had to be helped off the field during the fourth quarter of the team’s Week 15 game against the New Orleans Saints, it was difficult not to assume the worst.
Edwards-Helaire did not appear able to put any weight on his left leg — a sign that would typically translate to the end of a player’s season. But Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said after the game that his X-rays were negative, and reports the following day noted the Chiefs were optimistic he could be back by the playoff’s Divisional round after he recovers from his high-ankle sprain.
For #Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the high-ankle sprain will likely take more time to heal than the hip strain. The team is hopeful for a playoff return depending on his rehab, and the divisional round is about a month away. He has time.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 21, 2020
Reid then explained Edwards-Helaire was “ahead of schedule” last week, and running backs coach Deland McCullough provided more optimism regarding his possible return on Thursday.
“Since he’s been injured, I mean he’s really attacked this circumstance,” said McCullough. “Seeing him walking around a couple of days after I said, ‘Man, what’s going on?’ He just dedicated himself to getting back at a high level. So really, just excited about what it appears to be as far as he’s going to be ready to come back here in a couple of weeks and we just continue to move forward.”
In the Chiefs’ Week 16 game against the Atlanta Falcons, Darrel Williams and Le’Veon Bell split the work, but in this weekend’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, it could be more of Williams and Darwin Thompson as Bell nurses an apparent knee issue.
The Chiefs won’t play another meaningful game until the weekend of January 16, providing Edwards-Helaire with plenty of time. The 21-year-old LSU product had 1,100 scrimmage yards and five touchdowns in his first pro season.