KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three starters including defensive end Frank Clark were limited participants as the Chiefs took to the practice field Wednesday ahead of their showdown against the Cleveland Browns but it’s the absence of safety Tyrann Mathieu that remains the largest unknown for the club entering Week 1.
The club placed Mathieu on the COVID-19 reserve list Sept. 1, and head coach Andy Reid says “his tests are getting better.” Vaccinated players such as Mathieu must post two negative tests 24 hours apart to return from the list. Reid added he wouldn’t rule out Mathieu for Sunday’s game if he’s cleared to return and consulting with Rick Burkholder, the club’s vice president of sports medicine and performance.
“Yeah, as long as everything is physically OK, and Rick and the docs stay on top of that,” Reid said. “We’re in communication with them, obviously. If he can go, he’ll go. If he can’t, he can’t. We’ll make sure he’s safe to do it, though.”
Clark was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice along with defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, who continues nursing a hip flexor injury sustained during training camp. The new addition to the trio of limited players is wide receiver Mecole Hardman, whom the club listed with an oblique injury.
Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who suffered a sprained ankle in the preseason game against Arizona, was a full participant Wednesday.
“I feel 100 percent healthy and right now I’m ready to go,” Edwards-Helaire said.
Linebacker Willie Gay (toe) attended practice as an observer on Wednesday. He remains on injured reserve and must miss the first three games of the season. He’s expected to return in October.
A trio of projected starters for the Browns were also limited in practice Wednesday, including wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (knee), center J.C. Tretter (knee) and safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. (ankle). Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney did not practice due to an illness, which head coach Kevin Stefanski says is not COVID-19 related.
Chiefs Injury Report
Did not participate: OL Austin Blythe (abdomen)
Limited participation: DE Frank Clark (hamstring), WR Mecole Hardman (oblique) and DT Derrick Nnadi (hip)
Full participation: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle), RG Trey Smith (shoulder), OL Mike Remmers (knee) and OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (hand)
Browns Injury Report
Did not participate: DE Jadeveon Clowney (illness) and OL Michael Dunn (back)
Limited participation: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (knee), C J.C. Tretter (knee), S Ronnie Harrison Jr. (ankle), S Grant Delpit (hamstring), WR Rashard Higgins (hamstring), CB Troy Hill (hamstring) and CB Greedy Williams (groin)
Full participation: LB Slone Takitaki (hamstring)