On Thursday, the Kansas City Chiefs took the practice field for the ninth day of the team’s organized team activities (OTAs). Quarterback Patrick Mahomes returned to the field after missing last week, and the workout came with a few pieces of good news on the injury front.
In previous media looks (on Day 3 and Day 6), three key players for the Chiefs — tight end Jody Fortson, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and wide receiver Skyy Moore — all performed limitedly as they dealt with ailments. Fortson was being eased back in after having offseason surgery to repair his torn Achilles, Sneed needed some extra time as he dealt with a knee issue and Moore strained his hamstring before even arriving at mid-May’s rookie minicamp.
All three players looked normal on Thursday, actively participating in all team drills.
“Had a good day [Thursday at] practice,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. “It was good to get the guys out there, and a couple of the guys that are nicked up are working their way back in, which is good. Working hard, good effort, young guys are getting better, which is a plus. We’re still throwing a ton at them — and they’re doing well — so I appreciate their effort on that.”
The reps are particularly important for Moore, who has yet to take his first NFL snap. Moore has been seen wearing a compression sleeve on his left leg, which is likely a way of supporting the hamstring.
“He has been doing a lot more,” said Reid of his rookie receiver. “He’s doing a good job of understanding what we’re trying to get done. Now it’s just a matter of the reps and catching up with the other guys.”
Eight Chiefs were absent for the Day 9 workout: 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 Justyn Ross. Safety Nazeeh Johnson, who wore a ballcap, watched Thursday’s practice from the side.
Brown, Clark, Fountain, Hardman, Jones and Niang have been absent for all three OTA media looks. In addition to Mahomes, defensive tackle Cortez Broughton and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster — who were absent for Day 6’s practice — were present and working for Day 9. Fenton, who had been on the field watching Day 3 as he rehabs from a shoulder injury, was not spotted on Day 6 or Day 9. Niang continues to rehab from the surgery on his patellar tendon.
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. Brown finally hired an agent recently, but since he has not yet signed his franchise tag, he is not technically under contract — and therefore wouldn’t be in attendance, anyway.
The Chiefs have previously confirmed that Hardman is working through a hamstring injury, and the team does not have to offer a reason for the absences of Clark, Fountain, Jones or Ross.
The Chiefs finish up voluntary OTAs with a non-media practice on Friday. Media is permitted to be in attendance for all three days of mandatory minicamp beginning on Tuesday.