KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs tight end Blake Bell has undergone surgery for the hip flexor injury he suffered in the preseason opener against the Chicago Bears, head coach Andy Reid said Tuesday, with no timetable for his return.
“I don’t think it’s going to be real quick though,” Reid said.
When asked if Bell might start the season on injured reserve, Reid replied, “We’ll see on that. We’re kind of throwing some things around right now.”
Bell suffered the injury on the same plan in which he scored a touchdown against the Bears. He briefly exited the game but return, and on his next snap went down on the field. Reid at the time explained that Bell’s injury was not a common hip flexor problem.
“This particular one that he had is a little bit unusual,” Reid said two days following the injury. “So they’re going through and kind of looking at it and seeing where we go with it but I’ll have more later for you.”
If Bell lands on injured reserve and the Chiefs wish to retain the option of designating him to return sometime this season, Bell must first make the initial 53-player roster when final cuts are made on Aug. 30. If Bell does land on IR, he must miss at least the first four games of the season before he can return to action.
Bell’s injury provides some context why the Chiefs placed a waiver claim on Kendall Blanton, the former Missouri tight end who won a Super Bowl ring starting for the Los Angeles Rams last season. The Rams waived Blanton on Aug. 20, and he was awarded to Washington based on waiver claim priority.
Bell is among five Chiefs not expected to play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Green Bay Packers. Among them is wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who hasn’t practiced since Aug. 15 after developing a sore knee. Reid said he doesn’t have any long-term concerns with Smith-Schuster.
“I think he’ll be fine,” Reid said. “He’s right there right now. He’s kind of turned the corner here the last couple of days. He’s running on it, so it’s good.”
Defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who was a surprise scratch from Saturday’s game against Washington, has inflammation in his Achilles tendon, Reid said. Cornerback Rashad Fenton (groin strain) and running back Derrick Gore (fractured thumb) also are not expected to play Thursday.
Offensive tackle Lucas Niang (knee) remains on the physically unable to perform list and also will not play.