November 26, 2022

The Kansas City Chiefs placed running back Clyde Edwards Helaire on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain. He’ll be out for at least four weeks. It’s the latest chapter in a frustrating 2022 campaign for the former LSU star.

“Yeah, I mean, he’s a tough kid, but that doesn’t look good,” said the Kansas City coach Andy Reid said. “High ankle sprains in running backs aren’t always the best. We’ll see how he fares in his recovery here, but he’s quite touchy at the moment.

Edwards-Helaire rushed for 302 yards and three touchdowns this season. He added 151 reception yards. He got off to a scorching start with 74 rushing yards and 44 receiving yards in Kansas City’s Week 2 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. He also had 92 rushing yards and two combined touchdowns in the Chiefs’ big 41-31 win over Tampa Bay on Oct. 2. But Edwards-Helaire’s playing time continued to shrink, and seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco stole Edwards-Helaire’s seed gig for the 8-2 Chiefs.

Edwards-Helaire was a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but injuries and inconsistent play contributed to a frustrating two-and-a-half seasons.

Edwards-Helaire’s yards after contact have dropped significantly over the past year since his rookie season, and he finished last season with 119 carries for 517 yards and four touchdowns after rushing 181 times as a rookie for 803 yards and four touchdowns. Edwards-Helaire was also a prolific receiver from the LSU backfield, catching 55 passes in his senior season with the Tigers and 72 total passes in his more than two seasons with the Chiefs.

“This off-season has been pretty much about going back to basics and having a full off-season,” Edwards-Helaire told The Athletic NateTaylor in July. “That was one of the things that Coach (Andy) Reid and I talked about. He said, ‘This is really your first real offseason in the NFL.’ Really health was the most important thing. For me there’s always a sense of urgency. I feel like I bring that intensity. I was never really hurt in college. It’s just one of those things.

Edwards-Helaire was poised for a big Year 3 after the first normal offseason of his pro career, but that didn’t pan out.

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“Honestly, I’m about to break the internet with this,” Edwards-Helaire told the Arrowhead Addict Podcast. “So this will be my first off-season where I can do a full training program. After the Super Bowl last year, on the first Thursday in March, I had gallbladder surgery. My gallbladder has completely stopped working. I was down to about 160 pounds. And then before I knew it, the first time I got a rep with the Super Bowl football, that was the first OTA practice. I have not run, have not done anything up to this point and have been quietly dealing with stitches and recovery over the summer.”

Brad Crawford contributed to this report.

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