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Clyde Edwards-Helaire reveals parade-day obligations made months before Super Bowl

Speaking on Tuesday, the Kansas City running back insisted that missing the Super Bowl parade wasn’t done in spite.

Kansas City Chiefs Offseason Workout Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been a lightning rod for criticism ever since the team’s victory parade for Super Bowl LVII, which was held on February 15. That was three days after the team’s 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Edwards-Helaire did not join his teammates for the celebration on the streets of downtown Kansas City. Instead, he walked the runway in a fashion show in New York, representing a fur coat label called “Daniel’s Leather.”

The third-year running back had taken a back seat to rookie running back Isiah Pacheco even before the Week 11 high-ankle sprain had put him on the team’s Reserve/Injured list. Then after being activated from Reserve/Injured on February 6 — the Monday before the championship game — he was declared inactive for the matchup; Ronald Jones dressed for the game but never walked onto the field.

So his absence from the Super Bowl parade in Kansas City was widely presumed to have been based on pure spite — a slap in the face to his teammates and coaches. Many fans (and pundits) were disappointed. They wanted him to be immediately released or traded.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Edwards-Helaire said he expected to play in the Super Bowl.

“I practiced that week — the whole week,” he recalled. “I played receiver that week. I played the [Z-receiver] and the zebra — pretty much every position with the exception of quarterback and o-line throughout that week. So I was, in my mind, kind of thinking that I [would play].

“I mean, I got activated like Tuesday or Wednesday of that week; I really don’t know. But initially, it was just going out there [to Arizona, but I] didn’t think I was playing.”

The former first-round pick said that during the final week of practice, he had pitched in to do whatever had been asked of him.

“I also did scout team. I was DeVonta Smith for the defense. So I did everything that I needed to do in order for us to win that game. And that’s just what it was. They called my number, and I was out there.”

The former LSU star said that while it came as a surprise that he would not dress for the game, he did what his parents always taught him to do: roll with it. And he absolutely denied that missing the parade had anything to do with his role with the team.

Instead, it was a commitment he’d made months before then.

“That was, man, I want to say, probably three of four months prior to that, I kind of made an obligation,” he said. “I remember laughing with it. I was like, ‘Man, I wish [if] we’re going to win the Super Bowl, like, why we don’t have the parade on this date schedule?’ And I said that would have been dope.”

But again, he said, making good on his commitments is something he was raised to do.

“I’m not going to verbally give somebody my ‘Yes’ or give them that ‘A-OK’ — and then back out on them two days before. I wasn’t raised on that, with how my dad and how my mom are.”

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