The Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire went down with a gruesome leg/hip injury in the team’s 32-29 win over the Saints. Though many viewers feared the worst upon the replay, initial X-rays were negative.
Ian Rapoport reports that the early expectation is that Edwards-Helaire is done for the regular season with a chance to return in the playoffs. An MRI is scheduled for Monday.
“By video, the injury is probably not serious or long-term,” OutKick’s ProFootballDoc writes. “More of a muscle strain. CEH may miss some time but should be back by or before the playoffs.”
The keyword is “should.” It’s not certain the defending champs will go to battle with their starting RB, or if they do, whether he will be close to 100%.
Edwards-Helaire’s injury situation mirrors Mark Ingram’s last season. Near the end of the regular season, Ingram went down with a calf injury as the Ravens looked to clinch the AFC’s top seed. Ingram did return for Baltimore’s playoff game but was nowhere near himself, which contributed to the team’s exit after just one game.
Edwards-Helaire proved Sunday against the Saints, and earlier in the season versus the Bills, why the Chiefs need to run the ball to defeat upper echelon teams. Le’Veon Bell — who is painfully slow — provides some security, but not nearly enough to offset Edwards-Helaire’s absence.
Kansas City should already have concerns going into the playoffs after failing to cover for the sixth-straight game and winning by only a single possession. The Chiefs are winning but not playing well. In order to get back to last year’s form, they’ll need to run the ball far better.