Throughout his journey, Dandridge said he overcame “mental hurdles,” but he credited his strong personal support system, which he said includes his parents, his girlfriend and his infant son, to help him get through it all.“
I have a good support system, starting with my girlfriend,” he said. “I had my son in COVID, and he’s been a huge blessing. We do everything for him. We want to see him grow up and thrive, and that’s what keeps me and my girlfriend going is him. That’s been the biggest blessing of it all.”
And, then the call from the Chiefs arrived in February with an invitation to come in for a workout.
“I went with no hesitation,” he said. “When that call came, I was like, ‘It’s time to go to work,’” he said. “It’s what I’ve been waiting on. It’s what I’ve been preparing for my whole life, so why not take the shot?”
Former Chiefs K Cairo Santos, who now kicks for the Bears, also expressed his displeasure over the turf conditions.
“Especially Week 1, our first game of the season — I’ve seen better,” Santos said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s just what we have to deal with. The less of a problem you make it in your mind, it helps you overcome it and just go.”
Santos told reporters that the conditions of the turf are so consistently bad that he actually sought out a similar playing surface in the offseason while he was training in Florida. That seems like a pretty damning statement, and a problem the Bears should probably work to address.
2022 best case scenario
Any case where CEH is healthy and plays close to a full slate of games is the best case scenario. His abilities a runner, pass catcher, and pass blocker is extremely valuable to this offense and he could be a potential RB2 in fantasy leagues should he stay on the field.
2022 worst case scenario
Any case where CEH gets hurt again is the worst case scenario for both the Chiefs and fantasy managers. He’s already been on the PUP list during training camp, although it was for only one day. The organization went out and got Jones as insurance and if Edwards-Helaire is unable to go the full distance, then Andy Reid might just decide to go running back by committee.
If healthy, CEH will be fine but I’d need to see him in action first before placing him in my starting lineup. Prospective fantasy managers should consider him for a roster spot and wait a few weeks to see how he produces.
It should be no surprise that Vegas has Kansas City’s 462 projected points as the top three in the NFL. In each of the past five seasons, Kansas City has scored among the top six teams in the NFL, and no other team has come close to maintaining this level of offensive success.
This puts Kansas City’s Pythagorean win total at 10 wins, just .5 wins shy of their 10.5 line set by Vegas. Though this is touted as the best division in football, Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes has yet to finish a season with fewer than 12 wins.
The Chiefs are the favorites to win the AFC West at +155, but there’s an obvious infatuation with this division, given it’s likely the best in football. The last time the Chiefs didn’t win the division was in 2015; the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos eked out a 4th quarter victory over the San Diego Chargers in week 17 to win the AFC West.
Bet: I think it’s foolish to take any other team to win the AFC West, especially when it’s listed at plus odds.
Similarly contrarian, Burrell likes the Chicago Bears and new coach Matt Eberflus as -3.5-point favorites Saturday against the returning AFC West-champion Kansas City Chiefs.
If this were a regular-season game, Coach Andy Reid’s team would likely be favored by at least two touchdowns.
“But (quarterback Patrick) Mahomes likely won’t even play. They won’t use Travis Kelce. It’s not even the same team,” Burrell said. “I love the Bears.”
Kareem Hunt to Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City appears to be lacking a playmaking running back. 2020 first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire has failed to live up to expectations and is in danger of being a bust. The club also parted ways with versatile pass-catcher Tyreek Hill this offseason, leaving the 120 touches he got last year up for grabs.
Even if it only amounts to a one-year rental—Hunt is in the final season of a two-year, $12 million contract—it would better position Kansas City to compete in what has become a much more daunting AFC West.
Around the NFL
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is expected to start Friday’s preseason opener against the Jaguars.
The team made the announcement Wednesday just before boarding a flight to Jacksonville, Florida.
Watson and the Browns are waiting to see whether he will be suspended longer than the six-game suspension he was handed for violating the personal conduct policy by disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson last week.
On Aug. 3, the NFL appealed Robinson’s ruling, as it seeks a tougher punishment for Watson. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has appointed former New Jersey attorney general Peter C. Harvey to hear the appeal.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa told reporters last week that he believes the team is “all in” on him despite its prior interest in Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
His answer was even more succinct Wednesday when asked again about his reaction to that interest.
“Yeah, I mean, I’m still here,” he said. “To me, that’s all noise at this point.”
Tagovailoa and the Dolphins practiced with Brady’s Buccaneers on Wednesday, the first of two joint practices before the teams’ preseason opener Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. The timing of their joint practice coincidentally comes one week after the NFL disciplined Miami for impermissible contact with Brady in 2019 and 2021 — failed efforts to persuade him to join the Dolphins as a limited partner, football executive and possibly as a player.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Running backs (3): Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, Isiah Pacheco
OUT: Ronald Jones
Just as I did in projection 1.0, I maintain the locks for the Chiefs’ running back room are Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Isiah Pacheco. The Chiefs’ personnel staff likes the upside of their seventh-round rookie, and special teams coordinator Dave Toub has essentially said the kick-returner job is his to lose. At training camp, returning running back Jerick McKinnon and Ronald Jones have mainly mixed in as the No. 2 back with the first team, but Pacheco has seen looks as well. I think that because of the numbers at other positions (my bet is the Chiefs keep six receivers and four tight ends), they can keep McKinnon or Jones — and my money is on McKinnon, who was the Chiefs’ best running back at the end of last year. In late July, McKinnon revealed he had offseason surgery, and because of that, he took time to recover as he considered a couple teams. My thought is the Chiefs preferred McKinnon — but in March, signed Jones just in case McKinnon decided go elsewhere. Jones is a serviceable back who can earn a role with another team. I still believe the Chiefs will call around and pull a late-preseason “Carlos Hyde” by moving Jones to another club. Look for a team that loses a running back to injury in one of these initial preseason games coming up this weekend. Kansas City will attempt to retain Derrick Gore as insurance on their practice squad.