As to be somewhat expected, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was not in attendance for the sixth day of the team’s organized team activities (OTAs) on Thursday, likely stemming from his participation in Wednesday evening’s showcase golf event: Capital One’s “The Match.” We wrote up a recap on the event here.
That meant the quarterback reps were up to backup Chad Henne, second-year quarterback Shane Buechele and rookie Dustin Crum.
“It was great — especially the last two guys,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, referring to Buechele and Crum. “Chad’s had a number [of opportunities], but the last two, it’s great for them. You saw some good things, and they’re working hard. You can see improvement with Shane from last year, and working into this year, it’s a lot smoother operation for him.”
In addition to Mahomes being absent, so were nine other Chiefs: defensive tackle Cortez Broughton, offensive lineman Orlando Brown Jr., defensive end Frank Clark, cornerback Rashad Fenton, wide receiver Daurice Fountain, wide receiver Mecole Hardman, defensive lineman Chris Jones, offensive lineman Lucas Niang and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
“Good work [Thursday], both offensively and defensively,” said Reid of those in attendance. “For what we can get done, it’s great. Mostly throwing when we were in team periods — as a matter of fact, it’s all throwing. It’s good for the back end. It’s good for the receivers to work as we go forward. And then the O-line and D-line... we’ve got to really control that, so that’s what we do out there. You don’t see a ton of pass rush because of that... Good work. I appreciated both sides on how they’ve done that.”
Brown, Clark, Fountain, Hardman, Jones and Niang were absent during the first media look on Day 3 of OTAs. Fenton, who had been on the field watching last time as he rehabs from a shoulder injury, was not spotted this time around. Niang continues to rehab from the surgery on his patellar tendon.
Broughton, Mahomes and Smith-Schuster were new additions to the absentee list. Linebacker Jermaine Carter, Henne, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, safety Juan Thornhill and tight end Mark Vital — who were all absent for Day 3’s practice — were present and working for Day 6.
As a reminder, the 10 OTA sessions leading up to the mandatory minicamp (June 14-16) are voluntary, so players do not need to provide an excuse — and the team does not file an injury report. When it comes to Brown, the last the team said is that he is still working to find an agent (Editor’s note: he reportedly finally hired one on Thursday afternoon). Since Brown has not yet signed his franchise tag, he is not technically under contract and wouldn’t be in attendance, anyway.
Reid noted that many of the absent players on Day 6 were missing due to hamstring issues. The Chiefs have previously confirmed that both Hardman and rookie Skyy Moore are working through hamstring injuries.
Moore appeared to be progressing during Thursday’s session, but he did not participate in full-team drills. The same can be said regarding cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, whom the Chiefs said is working to strengthen his knee last week.
Despite those missing, Reid felt the team got some productive work in.
“It builds a foundation,” he said of OTAs. “That’s what we’re doing... it’s not the hitting part of it, but it builds a foundation where you can at least get used to some of the tempo. You get the base load of the plays, so when you get up there, and you have these next few weeks where you can get yourself in primo shape, you know somewhat to expect.
“You can go up and play football and not be thinking or sitting in a cold tub somewhere trying to recover and not being able to function. This gives them a pretty good foundation for that.”