Early in the third quarter of the Kansas City Chiefs' Week 16 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire exited the game near the end of the team's opening drive of the second half. He landed hard on his shoulder, got up, then promptly went off to the team's sideline.
After being preliminarily examined on the Chiefs' sideline, Edwards-Helaire went to the locker room and was shortly deemed questionable to return. The first early indication of the injury is that it's a collarbone issue. Near the end of the third quarter, he was downgraded to out.
At the time of Edwards-Helaire's injury, the Chiefs' 2020 first-round pick had nine carries for 27 yards and a touchdown. He also had one reception for four yards. The team's other two running backs, Derrick Gore and Darrel Williams, will relieve him in his absence.
How does this impact the Chiefs?
Without Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs are missing a talented running back. They've managed to keep the offense humming along during his absences in the past (ankle injury in 2020 and a knee injury this season) but nevertheless, they are a better team when he's healthy. Heading into Sunday's game, the former LSU Tigers standout had 110 carries for 490 yards and three touchdowns this season. He also had 18 receptions for 125 yards and another two touchdowns.
Kansas City is in good hands with Williams and Gore, though. The former has over 800 all-purpose yards this season and the latter is a dynamic change-of-pace back who is responsible for some of the offense's best runs in 2021. It remains to be seen how long Edwards-Helaire will miss but if it's any significant amount of time, the Chiefs have a pair of capable replacements.
This story is being updated.