Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed that cornerback L’Jarius Sneed would not practice with the team on Tuesday but was on his way back to Kansas City from his hometown of Minden, Louisiana.
Sneed missed Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders as he was away grieving the loss of his brother, T.Q. in Minden. Several Chiefs made note of dedicating the 48-9 win to Sneed following the game.
“I’ve had a chance to talk to him here a little bit over the last few days,” said Reid. “Obviously, he’s hurting from the situation — [he] was very close to his brother, so like I said, he’s on his way back — and I think it will be good for him to be around his teammates. They care a lot about him, so I think that will help him.”
Reid assured his listeners it was Sneed’s call to return to the team.
“These aren’t the situations — you’re not forcing anybody back in this type of situation,” said Reid. “They’ve got to take care of business in what they need to do. There’s a lot that goes into it, so that’s where we’re at with him.”
On Sunday after the game, Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu — considered the team’s defensive leader — explained that he had been in contact with Sneed but was giving him his space. On Tuesday, Mathieu told reporters that Sneed had texted him.
“He told me he loved me,” revealed Mathieu. “And so, for me, that was really all I needed to hear. I think he’s dealing with a lot right now. I think he’s dealing with a lot right now, but football means a lot to him. It means a lot to his family. So I feel like, in my opinion, in the things that I have went through, I think he has some motivation going forward. I think he’s one of those guys who is going to capitalize off of this.”
In 12 games this season, Sneed has recorded 62 tackles (49 solo), six passes defensed and two interceptions. His play has been at a Pro Bowl level.
The Chiefs would gladly welcome him back to the lineup for Thursday Night Football — but rightfully so, it sounds like that decision will be up to him.