The Chiefs made a couple of transactions on Tuesday, activating offensive lineman Kyle Long and placing running back Jerick McKinnon and defensive tackle Khalen Saunders on injured reserve. McKinnon injured his hamstring in the Chiefs’ win over the Dallas Cowboys. Saunders’ injury, however, was a bit more unclear. He had been inactive for the last four games — but didn’t appear on the team’s injury report going into the Week 11 win over the Cowboys.
“Khalen hurt his knee and it was kind of a weird deal,” explained Reid. “I’m not sure I can even tell you when it happened. But he a small piece of cartilage and it flipped up in there, and it was bugging him, so our doctors took care of it.”
Reid began his remarks by announcing that cornerback Rashad Fenton would be out of practice after injuring his knee against the Cowboys. He also said wide receivers Mecole Hardman and Tyreek Hill are also out — but not for injury reasons.
“Fenton is the only injury we had,” noted Reid. “He strained his knee a little bit, so he won’t practice [Wednesday]. And then non-injury related are Hardman and Hill — and so we’ll expect them back here relatively quick.”
Wednesday marked Long’s first practice as a member of the active roster since before the season began.
“He’s had a couple of good weeks of practice, kind of easing his way back in — and he’s up,” said Reid of the former Chicago Bears lineman. “He’s going to practice [Wednesday] — I think the term is ‘activated onto that roster’ — and then we’ll just see how it goes.”
Reid wouldn’t say if the Chiefs were considering playing Long on the starting offensive line.
“We’ll just see how it goes,” he said. “We’re still taking it day by day with it. He’s doing a heck of a job — [let’s] just leave it at that.”
Rookie right tackle Lucas Niang — who missed the last two games due to a rib injury — would also practice for the first time since the injury. Veteran Andrew Wylie has started in Niang’s place during that stretch.
“Well, Andrew’s done a good job — but again, we’ll see how Niang does and how he feels going forward,” said Reid. “He’ll get some work [Wednesday] and we’ll see how it goes — but Andrew has experience. [Offensive line coach Andy Heck] just kind of rotates [them] around — and then if they’re good to go, then they go.”
It sounded like safety Tyrann Mathieu reported back healthy after his knee swelled up prior to the Cowboys game. Mathieu still played every snap in the game.
“He did good,” said Reid of Mathieu. “He took care of it this past week — and like I said, he’s a tough kid. But he approaches his rehab that way, he approaches the game that way [and] he kind of approaches his life [that way]. He does a great job as a dad and also as a player, so I appreciate him for all of that.”
It is also worth noting that Reid came to the podium wearing a mask on Wednesday, which appeared to be a part of the NFL’s return-from-the-bye week protocols
“You have to keep them on for three days, so this is our last day with it. We can have them off on the field — [the] indoor and outdoor field. The league’s taking precautionary measures. Our guys did a pretty good job with it so far — I mean, they’ve done good with the masks, but I mean as far as not having a lot of positive tests there.”