One of the difficulties the Kansas City Chiefs faced during Sunday afternoon’s 24-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills was a shortage of secondary depth. With starting cornerback Trent McDuffie working his way back from injured reserve — and normal backup Rashad Fenton inactive because of a hamstring injury — fourth-round rookie cornerback Joshua Williams had to make his first start of the season.
McDuffie had actually been designated for a return to practice last week — and participated in all three practices leading up to Sunday’s game. But speaking to reporters on a Zoom conference call on Monday, head coach Andy Reid said that last week’s goal was to evaluate precisely where McDuffie stands on his recovery.
“That was kind of the idea last week: to test it out [and] see where he’s at,” said Reid. “We’ll do the same thing this week. We’re not going to put him in a bad situation — where he’s not comfortable. Normally, you want to get him up to speed.”
Reid praised the rehab work that head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder does for his players — but also said that getting on the field matters.
“There’s nothing like being on the field,” remarked Reid, “practicing and getting the game speed down — as close as you can to a game — and see how it feels.”
And that is the point where the Chiefs will decide if McDuffie is ready to return.
“Just want to see how he does during the week [of] practice,” said Reid, “and see how it feels. If he can get back in, we’ll let him play.”
If McDuffie is indeed ready to go, he will be expected to start against the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday’s Week 7 game.