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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After missing five games with a sprained MCL in his left knee, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire returned to the Kansas City Chiefs’ lineup in their most recent game, and his influence was evident. Edwards-Helaire rushed more than 5 yards per carry. carry and scored a touchdown as the Chiefs beat the Dallas Cowboys.
He was not much of a factor as a receiver as he caught two passes on 13 yards. But the chances for Edwards-Helaire as the receiver are what fascinated quarterback Patrick Mahomes after the match.
“He found small folds here and there to make some things happen and I thought the offensive line did a great job of getting him those windows,” Mahomes said of Edwards-Helaire. “We will keep incorporating him more and more. I mean, he looked healthy, so just happy to have him back, and hopefully we can also find ways to throw him some passes. He’s pretty good out there too. of the backfield. “
The Chiefs drafted Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, in part because of his ability to catch the ball and make defenders miss in space while he was at LSU. But the Chiefs have not used him much that way. Edwards-Helaire caught 36 passes with one touchdown as a rookie last season.
This year in 10 games he has 10 receptions, two of which go to touchdown.
Throwing the ball more often to Edwards-Helaire or their other backs is a place for the Chiefs to grow their offensive. The Chiefs scored more than 20 points once in the last five games, but in the one case where they scored big, their backs were a big part of the passing game. Edwards-Helaires’ replacement, Darrel Williams, caught nine passes for 101 yards, one for a 38-yard touchdown, in a 41-14 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Coach Andy Reid indicated that getting the ball to Edwards-Helaire as a receiver was a priority.
“He’s a valuable tool if you want to look at it that way because he can catch the ball as well,” Reid said. “He becomes a valuable piece in the attack.”
Edwards-Helaire was not afraid that his season was over when he injured his left knee against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5. He said his experience with injuries taught him that.
But the time away from the field was still difficult for him.
“I’ve been in some bad ties, and a lot of people probably would not stand here if they were in the same things that I was,” Edwards-Helaire said. “At first I could just feel it, I knew it was not the best. Who wants to get hurt when it’s literally what I do every day, Monday to Sunday? It’s not just that I was done for a while. It was, ‘I do this every day, and now I can’t do it anymore,’ so I was frustrated. “
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Edwards-Helaire was knocked out of the roster last season in three games plus one in the playoffs due to injuries to his ankle and hip.
“Every time I hit my crotch, something seems to happen,” Edwards-Helaire said. “You want to play ball. I do this seven days a week. I go into the facility every day. When someone tells you you can not do it, it’s frustrating. But you have to figure out another way to get that solution. “
Edwards-Helaire said his way of doing it during his absence was to go deeper into his film studio and pay close attention to training, even when he was not playing.
“I needed to mentally cheat myself so far as to tell my body that I did it when I really don’t,” he said. “That’s what makes you a professional. I feel that’s what sets me apart from the next person.”