Despite an offensive line having to overcome key personnel losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple in-season injuries, the Kansas City Chiefs are tied for the fourth-fewest sacks allowed (15) in the NFL despite boasting the seventh-most passing attempts (432) through Week 12.
Patrick Mahomes’ protectors have achieved this without the likes of starting guards Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Kelechi Osemele, and arguably most importantly, an ailing Mitchell Schwartz, who has missed the last six weeks due to a lingering back issue.
Andy Reid on Schwartz: ‘We’ll Just See’
During his post-practice media availability on Wednesday, head coach Andy Reid gave a somewhat cryptic reply when asked how his All-Pro starting right tackle is progressing.
“Yeah, we’ll just see,” Reid told reporters. “Listen, he’s a smart kid and so he’s been around a long time and he knows how he’s feeling. And he’s a good communicator, so he keeps that open with the trainers and doctors, so I think that’s the most important thing right now. Then, when he’s right, then we’ll get him back out there.
“But until then—we do that with every player—we’re not going to rush him back if he can’t go, and that’s why we expect the next guy to step in and play, and [Mike] Remmers is doing a nice job for us. He’s really stepped up and played well. But that’s kind of how we go. We have a lot of trust in Mitch and we know he’s a tough guy, and he’s a good communicator on top of that.”
Reid on RT Mitchell Schwartz: "We'll just see. He's a smart kid. Been around a long time. He knows how he's feeling. … When he's right, we'll get him back out there." Won't rush him back. Says Remmers has stepped up and played well.
— Tod Palmer (@todpalmer) December 2, 2020
Having been officially placed on injured reserve on the Saturday before Week 11, Schwartz will remain out through this Sunday with the potential to return to action in Week 14 when Kansas City travels to Miami. However, Reid’s comments suggest the possibility remains that the ninth-year veteran may be held out until the postseason, if not longer.
The back injury initially forced Schwartz out of the team’s Week 6 contest in Buffalo early in the first quarter after battling the issue throughout the week of practice. His absence the following week was the first of his stellar career in which the 6-foot-5-inch, 320-pounder had started all 134 games since being drafted 37th overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2012.
2 Chiefs Missing From First Week 13 Practice
Fortunately for the defending Super Bowl champions, Reid only had one additional injury to report — linebacker Dorian O’Daniel — following the team’s historic 27-24 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday. On the heels of the Chiefs’ first weekly practice on Wednesday, thankfully not much has changed.
“On the injury front, Bashaud Breeland just had the stomach virus, so we sent him home there,” said Reid. “Then, Dorian (O’Daniel) has an ankle sprain and he didn’t practice today. Everybody else practiced and did a nice job.”
Kansas City also listed five others on the practice report. Offensive lineman Martinas Rankin (knee) and defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon (hip) getting in limited sessions while defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, offensive tackle Mike Remmers and center Austin Reiter were full participants.