NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Defensive end Frank Clark arrived in Kansas City with lofty ambitions for leading a rebuilt Chiefs' pass rush, but a pinched nerve left the aggressive edge defender playing timid for the first time in his career.
“I've had a pinched nerve since the end of training camp, I've been playing through it,” Clark said after Kansas City's 35-32 loss to the Tennessee Titans. “It just got to a point where the s— was so serious it was sending burning sensations down my arm, my f—— two fingers was going numb.”
Clark missed time during training camp with what the club termed an illness, but he didn't appears on an official injury report with a neck issue until Sept. 11. The club listed him as a full participant in preparation for the Week 2 contest against Oakland.
The Chiefs finally shut down Clark heading into their Week 8 game against Green Bay. Clark sat out the games against the Packers and the Minnesota Vikings before returning this week.
“It was just a whole lot of serious, lot of s— going on,” Clark said. “So at the end of the day I had to take precautions and get checked out and make sure everything that I was doing football wise wasn't going to affect my life after football.”
Clark entered Sunday's game with 17 total tackles and three sacks, putting him on pace for his lowest output since his rookie season. He picked up four tackles and a sack against the Titans, but admits he still doesn't feel 100 percent.
“I feel good,” Clark said. “At the end of the day I don't feel great, I feel good. I'm a football player at the end of the day, I'm going to play through everything, I don't care. They tell me I can go, I'm going to go. S—'s just frustrating.”
Clark said he's felt timid and slow due to the nerve injury earlier this season, but understands it's part of the business.
“You don't want to be hurt, you don't want to deal with s— that involves nerves and stuff, but that's the nature of the game,” he said. “I signed up for it when I was 7 years old.”