Report: Chiefs Hopeful Clyde Edwards-Helaire Can Return for Playoffs
Edwards-Helaire suffered hip and ankle injuries during the fourth quarter of yesterday’s win over the Saints, and the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that he is expected to miss the final two weeks of the regular season. That said, Rapoport is also reporting that the team is hopeful that Edwards-Helaire will be able to return for the playoffs. The ankle injury is reportedly more serious than the hip strain, but he will have a full month to heal before the divisional round.
With Edwards-Helaire out of the lineup, Le’Veon Bell should handle the majority of the rushing opportunities for the Chiefs. He finished with 15 rushing attempts vs. the Saints and finished with 62 rushing yards, 12 receiving yards, and one touchdown. Darrel Williams should also see a few more opportunities as the backup. Both players will face a tough matchup next week vs. the Falcons, who entered Week 15 ranked fourth in Football Outsiders’ rush defense DVOA.
Following their win on Sunday, the Chiefs are in pole position to lock up the top spot in the AFC playoffs. They currently sit at 13-1, which gives them a 1.5-game lead over the Steelers in the conference. If the Steelers beat the Bengals on Monday Night Football – they’re currently listed as 14.5-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook – the Chiefs could secure the No. 1 seed with a win over the Raiders in Week 17. That would put them in an interesting spot next week vs. the Falcons since that game has zero impact on their playoff positioning.