Harrison Butker Rests on Thursday, Leaving Status in Doubt vs. Buccaneers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs provided kicker Harrison Butker a day of rest on Thursday after his first return to practice since injuring his left ankle in the season opener against Arizona.

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub said the time off doesn’t indicate a setback for Buterk, even though practice squad kicker Matthew Wright handled all kick duties on Thursday.

“He had a real good day yesterday, he came out and he kicked, and then the other kid did well too,” Toub said. “We still got to wait and see. He’s a little sore today, so we’re not going to kick him today.”

During the portion of practice open to the media on Wednesday, Butker and Wright alternated field goal attempts during the special teams period. Butker used the one-step technique he deployed in kicking a 54-yard field goal against the Cardinals to avoid putting additional stress on his left ankle. Toub last week said he trusts Butker with a one-step drop more than many other kickers.

Wednesday marked Butker’s heaviest workload to date since suffering his ankle injury, Toub explained. The coach says he’s no less optimistic about Butker’s chances of playing Sunday night than he was 24 hours ago.

“We’re trying to get him ready for the game, so we’re just going to listen to the trainers, and whatever they say we’re going to do it,” Toub said. “It’s going to come down right to the end until we have to make that decision who’s going to be up and down.”

Due to the Sunday night kickoff, the Chiefs have until 3 p.m. central time Saturday to elevate Wright from the practice squad for the game. If the club elevates Wright, the team can then wait until 90 minutes before the game before deciding whether to make Butker or Wright among the 48 active players for the game.

Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling was not wearing a helmet or pads during the portion of Thursday’s practice open to the media. Valdes-Scantling was limited with an abdomen injury on Wednesday, and he was not listed among the players expected to miss practice, suggesting his scratch from practice was a late decision. He wasn’t an idle spectator, however, and actively helped his teammates run through drills opening practice.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones returned to practice after missing Wednesday due to what the club said were non-injury reasons. Defensive end Mike Danna returned to practice for the first time after suffering a calf injury in the Week 2 contest against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Running back Ronald Jones (illness) also did not practice Thursday.

Chiefs injury report

Did not practice: K Harrison Butker (left ankle), WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (abdomen) and RB Ronald Jones (illness)
Limited participation: WR Mecole Hardman (heel) and DE Mike Danna (calf)
Full participation: DT Chris Jones (not injury related/personal), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) and RT Andrew Wylie (hip)

Buccaneers injury report

Did not practice: WR Chris Godwin (hamstring/rest), WR Breshad Perriman (knee/hamstring) and DT Akiem Hicks (foot)
Limited participation: WR Julio Jones (knee), WR Russell Gage (hamstring) and OT Donovan Smith (elbow)
Full participation: QB Tom Brady (right finger) and DT Logan Hall (groin)