While his rookie campaign lived up to some of the expectations built on his tape from LSU — but definitely not a first-round pick in fantasy like some of you claimed — lead Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is ready to get a hot start in Year 2 now that he’s playing with a clean bill of health.
Edwards-Helaire produced a solid campaign for the Chiefs in his first year after rushing for over 800 yards, averaging 4.4 yards a carry, but the rookie sensation’s ceiling was capped at the end of last year due to nagging injuries.
The running back appears to be fully ready for the start of the regular season after announcing to the media on Wednesday that he’s confidently feeling “100 percent” going into this offseason.
Having dealt with a hamstring injury in college and a left leg injury in December 2020 during a matchup against the New Orleans Saints, Clyde Edwards-Helaire looks to be a crucial part of the offense knowing his head coach and quarterback remain the best offensive play callers in the league — giving him the foundation for a breakout season.
With a slight reference to his receiving prowess, CEH also told reporters about the offense’s heavier integration of a pass-catching running back going into the new year.
Edwards-Helaire shared the following: “Talking to Coach Reid and also Pat [Mahomes], there are things that we’re implementing to get the ball to the back and just spread it out more. That was one of the [reasons] why I chose to work on my hands and just be more of a threat. It was seen that I could run the ball between the tackles, outside that was seen, so being able to also get out and not just routes out of the backfield but also out in a slot position and also the outside wideout position. Just being able to expand my skill set was my thing.”
Despite Andy Reid’s tendency to ease off the run game even as it builds moment for star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a healthy CEH opens the possibility of the offense to not just add more yards to their rushing attack, but keep the secondary on their toes once they decide to throw deep.
Edwards-Helaire now leads a backfield with a rebuilt offensive line thanks to the additions of Joe Thuney, Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown, and addition of former San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon.
After losing to Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Bucs in Super Bowl 55, the Chiefs are keen on returning to the big stage for their third consecutive appearance, unless any team in the AFC wants to get in their way.