Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Lucas Niang returned to practice on November 2, beginning a 21-day window in which he could work on the field with the team without having to be placed on the active roster.
As of this writing, the 24-year-old remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, but the deadline is coming up on Wednesday, November 23. Niang has spent the first 11 weeks of the season on the PUP list after rupturing his patella tendon in Week 17 last season.
During his weekly Monday Zoom press conference, head coach Andy Reid sounded optimistic about activating Niang.
“I’ll talk to (general manager) Brett [Veach],” he said. “I haven’t talked to Brett today, but we’ll talk on that and just see where we’re at with that. But he’s made some nice progress over the last couple of weeks.
“And I’m not telling you he’d be the starter, but I think he’s ready to get in, probably, the two-deep. We’ll have to talk to the kid, too.”
The only position of consideration for Niang is right tackle, which is currently manned by Andrew Wylie. It does not sound Wylie will lose his job when Niang is activated.
Drafted by the Chiefs in the third round in 2020, Niang opted to sit out his rookie season during the coronavirus pandemic. He appeared in 12 games for the Chiefs in 2021, starting nine at right tackle before the injury.