Dec 26, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire returns to practice

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire took a positive step forward in his bid to return for this weekend’s AFC divisional-round clash against the visiting Buffalo Bills.

Edwards-Helaire was listed as a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. A shoulder injury has sidelined Edwards-Helaire for the team’s final two games of the regular season and last week’s wild-card victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“He moved around well. We’ll see how he does tomorrow as we go forward,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

Edwards-Helaire, 22, rushed for 517 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games this season.

Edwards-Helaire has rushed for 1,320 yards and eight touchdowns in 23 career games. He also has 55 career receptions for 426 yards and three more scores since being selected by the Chiefs with the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill (heel) and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (knees) were listed as full participants on Wednesday, however running back Darrel Williams (toe) and cornerback Rashad Fenton (back) did not practice.

–Field Level Media

2. Chiefs (2): WR Tyreek Hill's 110 receptions are a single-season team record. His 11.2 yards per catch are his lowest -- by 3.5 yards -- since he became a starter in 2017. Despite Sunday's stumble in Cincinnati, no one is going to want to see Hill or Kansas City once the playoffs start.

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Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill to play vs. Steelers, Clyde Edwards-Helaire out

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and running back Darrel Williams are expected to play in Sunday night’s AFC wild-card game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, coach Andy Reid announced.

Hill, who is nursing a heel injury, followed up a limited practice on Thursday by participating in Friday’s session.

Williams was limited in the first two practices this week before participating on Friday. He has been hampered by an ailing toe.

While Hill and Williams are trending in the right direction, Reid announced running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

Edwards-Helaire did not practice for the second straight day on Friday while nursing a shoulder injury. The second-year running back missed the final two games of the season after first sustaining the injury in Kansas City’s 36-10 romp over Pittsburgh on Dec. 26.

Williams started Weeks 17 and 18 in place of Edwards-Helaire (517 rushing yards), with Derrick Gore and Jerick McKinnon providing depth.

Williams, 26, finished with 1,010 scrimmage yards (558 rushing, 452 receiving) and eight total touchdowns (six rushing, two receiving) in 17 games (seven starts) this season.

Hill, 27, finished the season third in the NFL with 111 catches for 1,239 yards and nine touchdowns. He earned his sixth career Pro Bowl berth.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs with the ball against Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson (55) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Tyreek Hill downgraded

Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire both suffered setbacks Thursday ahead of the Chiefs’ wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Hill (heel) was limited in Thursday’s practice after being a full participant Wednesday. Edwards-Helaire (shoulder) did not participate after being limited Wednesday.

Edwards-Helaire missed the final two games of the season after first suffering the injury in Week 16, also against the Steelers.

“Clyde is going to do everything he can to be out there this weekend and we will let the people take care of what they need to take care of,” Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said Thursday.

Chiefs leading rusher Darrel Williams (toe) was able to practice, albeit limited, for the second consecutive day. Williams started Weeks 17 and 18 in place of Edwards-Helaire. Derrick Gore and Jerick McKinnon provide depth.

Williams finished with 1,010 scrimmage yards and eight total touchdowns on the season in 17 games (seven starts).

Hill finished the season third in the NFL with 111 catches for 1,239 yards (seventh-best) and nine TDs.

The Chiefs host the Steelers on Sunday night. Kansas City won the first matchup 36-10 on Dec. 26.

–Field Level Media

Dec 16, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) catches a pass against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tyreek Hill clears COVID protocols

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill has cleared the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols, per an announcement from the team Saturday.

Hill, 27, was added to the the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday along with six other Chiefs players, joining tight end Travis Kelce as potential casualties for Sunday’s game with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hill will now be available for that game.

The status of Kelce remains up in the air. He has been activated but not cleared to play, giving him the opportunity to play with a second negative test on game day.

On a negative note for Kansas City, the team also announced several coaches would not be available Sunday: quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka, running backs coach Greg Lewis and assistant offensive line coach Corey Matthaei.

The players added to the list Tuesday in addition to Hill were starting linebacker Nick Bolton, cornerbacks Rashad Fenton and Armani Watts, starting offensive linemen Lucas Niang and Kyle Long, and tight end Blake Bell. All reportedly tested positive.

Bolton and Niang were listed as questionable to play on the team’s latest injury report Saturday, along with Kelce.

Hill leads Kansas City with 102 receptions while Kelce is second on the team with 83 receptions. Both are over 1,000 yards receiving.

Kelce, 32, landed on the list with teammates Harrison Butker and Charvarius Ward Monday.

On Saturday, the Chiefs also activated defensive back Decaprio Bootle, tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart, defensive back Josh Jackson and punter Johnny Townsend from the practice squad via COVID replacement.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (quadriceps) misses practice

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill missed another practice Thursday while All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce was limited.

Hill is battling a quadriceps injury sustained in last week’s win over the Washington Football Team. Kelce is managing a neck injury but expects to play on Sunday when the Chiefs (3-3) visit the Tennessee Titans (4-2) in Nashville, Tenn.

Good news did come in the form of defensive end Chris Jones practicing for the first time since Week 4. He has missed the past two games with a wrist injury.

Hill played just 57 percent of the team’s offensive snaps against Washington. He had nine catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.

The five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro missed practice last week with a knee injury. He has 46 receptions for 592 yards and five touchdowns on the season.

Cornerback Charvarius Ward (quadriceps) practiced again Thursday, albeit limited. He hasn’t played since Week 2.

Left guard Joe Thuney (hand) and linebacker Anthony Hitchens (triceps contusion) missed practice.

However, defensive tackle Jarran Reed (back) and offensive lineman Trey Smith (ankle) were full participants after being limited Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) catches a pass against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (knee) sits out practice

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill did not participate in practice on Wednesday, three days removed from sustaining a knee injury during a loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid announced Monday that Hill “hurt his knee a little bit” in Sunday night’s 38-20 setback to the Bills in Kansas City.

A five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro, Hill leads the team in catches (37) and receiving yards (516). Hill, 27, is tied with tight end Travis Kelce for the team lead with four touchdown receptions.

Mecole Hardman, who has 22 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown, likely would see additional snaps should Hill miss playing time. The Chiefs (2-3) visit the Washington Football Team (2-3) on Sunday.

Reid also said linebacker Anthony Hitchens (knee), defensive end Chris Jones (wrist) and left guard Joe Thuney (hand) would not practice on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) taunts Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bucs’ Antoine Winfield Jr. fined for SB taunting

The NFL has fined Tampa Bay defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. $7,815 for taunting Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill during Super Bowl LV last week, according to NFL Network.

Winfield held up two fingers in a peace sign directed at Hill with the Buccaneers comfortably ahead late in the game. It mimics the signature gesture Hill frequently uses against defenders that he left in his rearview mirror.

That includes a Week 12 meeting between the teams when Hill racked up 269 yards and three touchdowns. Hill flashed the peace sign at Winfield as he ran past him in that game and also embarrassed the Buccaneers by back-flipping into the end zone on one of his touchdowns.

That game apparently stuck with Winfield.

“He back-flipped in front of my face, gave me the peace sign. So it was only right that I gave the peace sign right back to him,” Winfield said after the Bucs’ 31-9 win last Sunday.

“It felt amazing to be able to do that, not even gonna lie.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes look to connect the dots in SB LV

As quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ favorite target, Tyreek Hill has seen him throw plenty of passes this season, but the All-Pro receiver has never seen Mahomes throw the football likes he’s been doing in practice lately.

“What’s crazy is, Pat, he’s been on a roll,” Hill said Thursday. “I haven’t seen Pat throw dots like this at practice. Like he’s been throwing crazy dots. Like, he throws dots. But the dots he’s been throwing in practice lately have been crazy…. So I’m pretty fired up. Just gotta wait and see. I’ve gotta rub my hands together — I’m excited about that.”

The Chiefs hope Mahomes and Hill connect the dots, a slang term given for pinpoint passes thrown into a tight space in between defenders, plenty of times on Sunday when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV in Tampa.

Hill has 104 catches for 1,558 yards and 15 touchdowns on 156 targets from Hill in 18 games, including the playoffs, this season.

The duo had their best performance — and one of the single-quarter outbursts by a quarterback-receiver duo in NFL history — against host Tampa Bay during a 27-24 win in Week 12.

Hill torched Tampa Bay for 13 catches for 269 yards – both career highs — and three touchdowns on 15 targets. Hill was unstoppable in the first 15 minutes.

He made seven catches for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter alone, joining Qadry Ismail (210 in the third quarter on Dec. 12, 1999) and Lee Evans (205 in the first quarter on Nov. 19, 2006) as the only NFL receivers since 1980 to have 200 yards worth of receiving yards in a quarter.

“He wants to take every single rep,” Mahomes said of Hill. “You hear about that with all the great receivers, but to see it firsthand. I mean, it’s truly a special thing.”

Mahomes, who was the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2019, has been just as good in the postseason. In two playoff games this year, he’s thrown for 580 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions.

In seven postseason games, he’s thrown 15 career touchdown passes, which tie Kurt Warner for the second-most by a quarterback in his first four seasons in NFL history, one behind leader Russell Wilson.

Mahomes, who is the reigning Super Bowl MVP, is the first quarterback ever to start three consecutive conference championship games in his first four NFL seasons and with a win on Sunday, will become the first quarterback to win two Super Bowls before turning 26.

Meantime, Hill will take the field at Raymond James Stadium seeking to become just the ninth receiver in league history to be named to The Associated Press’ All-Pro First Team and win the Super Bowl in the same season.

It’s a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Indianapolis’ Marvin Harrison in 2006. Of the eight players who have done it, five — Jerry Rice (1988, 1989, 1994), John Stallworth (1979), Lynn Swann (1978), Paul Warfield (1973) and Harrison — are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, while Pearson (1977) could get the call from Canton on Saturday and Gary Clark (1987) and Cliff Branch (1976) had excellent careers.

“He has worked so hard this year and I think we’ve all seen that,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “His dependability and reliability … working hard every day, timing with the quarterback every day … that takes a certain amount of toughness and determination to get yourself to that point.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid speaks to players during the first half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

AFC Notebook: Andy Reid and Sean McDermott share long history

The opposing coaches in the AFC Championship game spoke glowingly of each other when they got the chance Wednesday.

Coach-speak, perhaps? Maybe, but the connection between the Buffalo Bills’ Sean McDermott and the Kansas City Chiefs’ Andy Reid dates back to a lengthy period in Philadelphia, from 1999-2010. McDermott eventually rose to become defensive coordinator under Reid.

“Andy will be a Hall of Fame coach here in the future down the road,” McDermott said. “I’ve learned, and I’ve said this time and time again, I’ve learned a lot from Andy Reid in my time with him in Philadelphia.”

Reid went as far as to trace McDermott’s exploits as a high school wrestler and later a standout safety at William & Mary, emphasizing his protege’s intelligence and toughness. He also proclaimed that McDermott should be named the NFL’s Coach of the Year for guiding the Bills to the brink of their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1993 season.

“He’s taken a franchise there, both he and his general manager have put this thing together with some bold moves and production here now, so I think he’s done tremendous,” Reid said. “What a great thing for the NFL and for Buffalo.”

–When television cameras caught Kansas City standout wide receiver Tyreek Hill shoving his position coach, Greg Lewis, during the Chiefs’ divisional round victory, it appeared a sideline altercation might be brewing.

“That’s me and my personality,” Hill said. “A lot of people see me as being a hothead on the sideline or a diva, but it was nothing like that. Just me being fired up and just trying to give the guys energy.”

His dependability showed against Cleveland when Reid called a stunning fourth-down pass in which backup quarterback Chad Henne rolled right and lobbed the ball to Hill to seal the 22-17 outcome.

–Buffalo veteran Cole Beasley downplayed his two targets against Baltimore, which resulted in no receptions in the divisional round. He caught 82 passes for 967 yards in the regular season.

Beasley even mentioned that he kidded with Stefon Diggs, who caught eight passes for 106 yards after leading the NFL with 166 targets in 2020.

“A lot of people don’t understand that you can make an impact in the game without catching the ball,” Beasley said. “They have to worry about me underneath either way.”

–Everyone remembers the option keeper that left Patrick Mahomes wobbly and still in concussion protocol. A look at the next two snaps, however, is worthwhile.

In his start, Darrel Williams gained 12 yards on fourth down and then 16 yards to put Kansas City in field goal range. Then, Williams inexplicably watched from the sideline as the drive stalled and Harrison Butker missed a 33-yard field goal.

The Chiefs could retain injured rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle), while Williams should also be fresh after gaining 78 yards on 13 rushes against Cleveland. The Chiefs rushed for 245 yards in the first meeting against Buffalo.

“If they take away the deep stuff, we’ve just got to take underneath routes and take our chances in the run game,” Mecole Hardman said. “As far as Clyde, I just tell him everything’s faster in the playoffs but still go out and play your game.”

–The absence of Matt Milano could be considered one reason Kansas City was so successful running on Buffalo in their regular-season matchup, especially since Reid labeled the Bills linebacker as “the quarterback of that (defensive) group.”

Milano’s presence helps reinforce aggressive tendencies that have helped the Bills torment opponents while winning seven of their last eight games by double digits.

“He does a great job of doing his one-eleventh and that’s important,” McDermott said. “Matt’s a great young man and it’s been fun watching him grow. He does his job at a high level.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire returns to practice

Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the final two games of the regular season.

The move represents a positive sign for Edwards-Helaire’s chances to play in Sunday’s divisional playoff game versus the visiting Cleveland Browns.

“He just went right at it. Fearless with (his rehabilitation). And as a result, he’s probably a little bit ahead,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Edwards-Helaire, who has been nursing hip and ankle injuries.

Edwards-Helaire, 21, has team-leading totals in carries (181), rushing yards (803) and rushing touchdowns (four) since being selected by Kansas City with the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He also has 36 catches for 297 yards and a score.

Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, also participated in practice on Wednesday.

Hill, 26, has 87 receptions for 1,276 yards with a career-best 15 touchdowns this season.

Linebacker Willie Gay (ankle), cornerback Rashad Fenton (ankle) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) didn’t practice on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media