Chiefs’ Mathieu to return

Kansas City's defense, which struggled mightily against Cleveland, should receive a boost next week with Tyrann Mathieu is back in the lineup. Mathieu was held out of the season-opener because of his COVID-19 diagnosis. He has since been cleared to return.



September 14, 2021 - 9:45 AM

In this photo from Aug. 20, free safety Tyrann Mathieu of the Kansas City Chiefs on the sidelines during the first half of the NFL preseason game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen / Getty Images / TNS

The Chiefs should be back to full strength in their secondary for next Sunday night’s road game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Monday that All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu will return to the lineup after missing Sunday’s game, a 33-29 Chiefs victory over the Cleveland Browns.

“He’ll be back,” Reid said.

Mathieu landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sept. 1 and wasn’t cleared until Saturday, a day before the Chiefs’ season opener against the Browns at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs decided against activating Mathieu for the game because of the missed practice time.

“That was a decision I had to make and that was more off the conditioning part and just not putting him in a bad position,” Reid explained. “I thought it was best if we just had him sit this game and come back for the next one here.”

With Mathieu not playing against the Browns, the Chiefs relied on safeties Daniel Sorensen and Juan Thornhill, who started in Mathieu’s place, to anchor the back end of their coverage in Sunday’s 33-29 win.

The defense will have one of its clear leaders back on the field in Week 2, but the Chiefs remain in a wait-and-see mode with defensive end Frank Clark, who was inactive for Sunday’s game because of a hamstring injury.

“I think he’s right on the edge of being right,” Reid said. “He pushed himself (last week) and I just didn’t feel like it was quite all the way back with him.”

Clark suffered a hamstring injury during training camp on Aug. 12 and didn’t play in the Chiefs’ three preseason games. Clark was limited in practice last week and entered the weekend listed as questionable on the injury report before being declared inactive.

Reid doesn’t want to hamper or hurt Clark’s healing process by rushing him back too soon.

“We’ve been working with this and make sure he gets it right,” Reid said. “And it’s not lack of effort or want to play or any of that stuff. It’s just a decision I have to make sitting in this chair, along with the medical people feeding me the information and Frank communicating with us.”

The Chiefs are scheduled to return to the practice field Wednesday in preparation for the upcoming road game against the Ravens.