KC Chiefs running back Edwards-Helaire set to return vs. Bills. Not so sure on Williams

·3 min read
Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP

The Chiefs appear on track to have at least one of their leading rushers available for Sunday night’s AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire put in another full practice Friday, signaling he could be ready to return to action for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in Week 16 of the NFL regular season.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid is cautiously optimistic.

“I felt comfortable with him practicing today,” Reid said. “He did practice, full-speed and all that. But I’m still recovering from telling you guys he was going to play last week, so I’m not going to say anything until the fish is in the boat.”

The difference now compared to last week, though, is the type of practices Edwards-Helaire has taken part in the past few days. That, and the fact that the Chiefs did not assign him a game designation on their final injury report of the week on Friday.

He put in a single day of on-field work as a limited participant last week before not practicing at all for the remaining two days ahead of Sunday’s game against the Steelers.

This week, Edwards-Helaire put in full practices on Wednesday and Thursday, and Reid using the term “full-speed” to describe the running back’s Friday workout.

While the news on Edwards-Helaire is encouraging, the Chiefs are taking a wait-and-see approach on running back Darrel Williams, who is dealing with a toe injury.

Williams, who finished the regular season as the Chiefs’ leading rusher, returned to practice Friday after missing the previous two days. Reid didn’t commit to the fourth-year pro’s availability against the Bills.

“He moved around well today, but let me see how he does,” Reid said. “He only practiced today, so let’s see how he does here in the next day.”

The Chiefs later on Friday designated Williams as questionable for Sunday’s game. If Williams can’t play, the Chiefs have running backs Jerick McKinnon and Derrick Gore on standby behind Edwards-Helaire.

Second-year linebacker Willie Gay Jr., who missed Thursday’s practice because of off-field legal issues, returned to work Friday. Reid said Gay will play Sunday night.

Cornerback Rashad Fenton (back) was the only player who did not practice Friday. It was his third straight missed practice. The Chiefs listed him as questionable for Sunday.

Fenton’s back became an issue less than two hours before last weekend’s game against the Steelers. With Fenton not playing, the Chiefs utilized cornerback Mike Hughes in nickel packages alongside Charvarius Ward and L’Jarius Sneed.

For the Bills, defensive end Mario Addison (shoulder) returned to a full practice Friday after being limited Wednesday and Thursday. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs was given a rest day Friday. Buffalo didn’t assign injury designations to any of its players, meaning each should be available to play against the Chiefs.

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