Well, this was not something we were expecting.
Kansas City Chiefs tackles Eric Fisher and Mitch Schwartz may be ready to participate in training camp, according to Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, who spoke to the media via Zoom on Monday morning.
Fisher tore his Achilles during the AFC title game, and Schwartz had back issues throughout the 2020 season.
“Mitch just recently had his disc worked on,” said Veach. “We’re hopeful for him to return at training camp, and the same thing with Fish... We’re hopeful both guys will complete the rehab and be available for training camp and to start the 2021 season. I would probably say Pat (Mahomes) is ahead of them because of that type of injury and probably a quicker recovery, but hopeful to have all three ready to go by training camp.”
Given his Achilles injury, a training camp return seemed especially optimistic for Fisher — but Veach confirmed the Chiefs believe it to be possible.
Quite frankly a little surprised about the reaction of a player returning in less than 6 months from Achilles rupture today. The case studies/player profiles are out there. It's not just opinion.— Aaron Borgmann (@RehabAllStar) March 1, 2021
“Looking at my notes right here, [he had] Achilles surgery [on January 29], based on (vice president of sports medicine and performance) Rick (Burkholder) and his medical staff, he projects a mid-August return,” added Veach. “Now listen, how that works — everything is different and everyone recovers differently. So I think with that injury and with the time leading up to the season, Rick has here mid-August return, and you know how that works. That’s always to be determined until the player actually reports back to camp and goes through the offseason and see where he is, but I think the mid-August timeline was put in front of my notes here, so I’ll defer to Rick on that and trust his medical expertise.”
While this is excellent news for the Chiefs, look for the team to find ways to continue to add depth at tackle — whether it be by way of the draft or free agency — leading up to the 2021 season. In an ideal situation for Kansas City, Fisher and Schwartz will be fully recovered and ready to play at a high level in Week 1.
But if either player or both are not ready, the Chiefs need to have better backup options than they did entering Super Bowl LV.