Monday PM update: Further tests confirmed the diagnosis, per Ian Rapoport. Edwards-Helaire is done for the regular season and the Chiefs hope to get him back in the playoffs.
The Kansas City Chiefs are closing in on securing the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but they will likely have to finish the job without running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The rookie suffered hip and ankle injuries in Week 15 against the New Orleans Saints and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season with a chance he can return for the playoffs, per Ian Rapoport.
Edwards-Helaire suffered the injury late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win. He went down when he “got twisted up into the splits,” per head coach Andy Reid. He was helped off by two trainers and immediately went to the locker room rather than first to the sideline. X-rays that evening were negative.
Le’Veon Bell had been getting extensive work already in the game, having 12 touches to Edwards-Helaire’s 15 at the time of the injury. Bell added four more carries before he also left with an injury. Demario Davis dragged him down by his face mask on a run and it looked like the Chiefs running back was shaken up on the play. Bell had secured the game-clinching first down on that play and the Chiefs went into their victory formation so there was no need for Bell to return.
If Bell is OK, he’ll replace Edwards-Helaire in the starting lineup and Darrel Williams will move into the backup role. Darwin Thompson would see a bump in work once he gets over the illness that cost him Sunday’s game. While Williams and Thompson could pick up a decent amount of work, Bell is likely to be more of a workhorse while Edwards-Helaire on the sideline for however long.
The Chiefs play the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16 and Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17. If the Chiefs beat the Chargers or the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills each lose one of their two remaining games, Kansas City will clinch the No. 1 seed, a first round bye, and home field through the AFC playoffs.