Despite returning to practice in a limited capacity on Thursday, it’s likely that Kansas City Chiefs’ linebacker Nick Bolton will be a gametime decision for Sunday’s Week 5 game against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis. That’s according to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who spoke to reporters on Thursday.
“I know he’s chomping at the bit,” Spagnuolo said of Bolton, who has missed two games with an ankle injury. “I don’t know if you guys have talked to him, but he’s a competitor — and I don’t think he likes standing on the sideline and watching the guys out there playing. So if he can go, he’ll go — but we’ll see where we are at the end.”
Bolton’s teammates say they’re ready to shoulder the load if the starting MIKE linebacker isn’t ready to go.
“It’s Nick Bolton, man… he’s been a great player ever since his rookie year,” linebacker Leo Chenal said before Thursday’s practice, adding that the team feels confident in the play of veteran addition Drue Tranquill, who paced the team in tackles in Bolton’s absence.
“Drue’s just an all-around great player. He showed [that] he can make plays in the pass game, blitzing, run fits… he’s been really great for us — [a] great energy guy.”
Drafted by the Chiefs in 2021, Bolton set a single-season for tackles during Kansas City’s championship season. His teammates expect he will be ready for 2023’s stretch run.
“He’s been a guy that you know the whole team kind of looks up to,” Chenal said of Bolton. “[He’s] super smart [and] great communicator. And Drue’s a great player… To have both those guys in the field — back and healthy? That’s gonna be good.”