KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs could have running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire available for the first time in nearly a month when they play the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night for a spot in their fourth consecutive AFC championship game.
Edwards-Helaire practiced all week for the first time since hurting his collarbone in the second half against Pittsburgh on Dec. 26, though Chiefs coach Andy Reid stopped short of declaring him ready to go following Friday’s workout.
Last week, Reid was optimistic Edwards-Helaire would play in the wild-card round but he wound up being inactive.
“I felt comfortable with him practicing today and he did practice full speed and all of that,” Reid said. “ut listen, I’m still recovering from telling you guys he was going to play last week. So I’m not saying anything until the fish is in the boat.”
Edwards-Helaire, who also dealt with a knee injury earlier this season, has run for 517 yards and four touchdowns while appearing in parts of just 10 games. His propensity for getting hurt has forced the Chiefs to rely on a backfield by committee this season with Darrel Williams, Jerick McKinnon and Derrick Gore also getting plenty of work.
Williams also is expected to play against Buffalo after he was limited in last week’s 42-21 romp over the Steelers by a toe injury. That opened the door for McKinnon, who responded by running 12 times for 61 yards while catching six passes for 81 yards and a touchdown; it was the most yards from scrimmage of anybody in the wild-card round.
Williams led the Chiefs with 558 yards rushing and six TDs this season. He also caught 47 passes for 452 yards and two scores, giving him more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage for the first time in his career.
“I’d probably tell you the same thing (as Edwards-Helaire): He moved around good today,” Reid said, “but let me see how he does. He only practiced today. Let me see how he does here in the next day.”
Reid also said that linebacker Willie Gay Jr., who was arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property this week, would play against the Bills. Gay pleaded not guilty on Thursday and practiced on Friday.
Gay has made 48 tackles and two interceptions in 12 games while playing on defense and special teams.
“Well, I decided he’d play. I’m not going to get into the conversations I had with him. I’m not going to do that,” Reid said, “but I decided that after just hearing some of the information.”
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