Clyde Edwards-Helaire is dealing with a shoulder injury and has not played since Week 16. What is his status as the Chiefs head towards the playoffs, and will he be available for the Wild Card game against the Steelers?
Is Clyde Edwards-Helaire playing tonight vs. the Steelers?
Edwards-Helaire has had a tough time with injuries this season, and that will continue as Kansas City has officially ruled him out of their first-round playoff matchup.
However, the Chiefs do have Darrel Williams working his way back, and the anticipation is that he will play barring any setbacks. They also have Tyreek Hill back in the lineup after some concerns about a heel injury arose during the pregame of the Chiefs’ Week 18 matchup with Denver.
How has Edwards-Helaire performed so far this season?
It’s been a somewhat turbulent year for CEH. Due to injury issues, the former LSU running back only managed to play in 10 games this season.
Edwards-Helaire injured his knee against Buffalo in Week 5 and headed straight into the medical tent. He didn’t play again until Week 11 against Dallas, where he ran for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Edwards-Helaire was then a feature in the lineup for another five games before he went down again. This time it was his shoulder, and once again, he left the field and wasn’t to return.
It’s been an unfortunate year for him. CEH went for 100+ yards in back-to-back weeks in Week 3 and 4, but the setbacks have disrupted his flow. At times, Edwards-Helaire has shown elite promise — we just need to see it from him more consistently.
Who do the Chiefs look to without Edwards-Helaire?
Williams has been the Chiefs’ most productive back in 2021. He has 6 touchdowns on the year. However, 4 of those came in the first six weeks of the season.
Kansas City does not require an every-down, workhorse back. They’re a pass-first team. But Williams has been a solid stand-in when he’s been needed this season.
Jerick McKinnon has also been with the team this year. Yet, he only has 12 rushes in total. McKinnon comes in as a receiving back, but his usage is fairly minimal. He has 13 catches for 107 yards and a TD.
The Chiefs will be just fine without a powerful run game for tonight’s game. It just means they’ll further rely on Hill, Travis Kelce, and the likes of Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson. Mecole Hardman had the best game of his season (8 catches and 103 yards) in Hill’s absence in Week 18. Could he be a factor on Wild Card Weekend?