Andy Reid Provides Mixed Update on Joe Thuney's Injury Recovery

Thuney continues to work his way back from a pec injury, but his outlook for the rest of the summer isn't set in stone.
Dec 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Kansas City Chiefs guard Joe Thuney (62)  in action during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Kansas City Chiefs guard Joe Thuney (62) in action during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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With mandatory minicamp in the books, the Kansas City Chiefs have a very clear idea of who four of their five offensive line starters will be. That quartet figures to be the same one from last season, albeit with a twist.

Left guard Joe Thuney, who missed Super Bowl LVIII with a pectoral injury, still isn't cleared to practice with the team. There's also a possibility that he isn't ready to do so once Kansas City reports to training camp in July.

Head coach Andy Reid provided an update on Thuney following Thursday's practice, giving a mixed bag of tidbits in the process.

"Joe's working his tail off and getting better," Reid said. "We've got to see exactly how that thing works — we've got to get clearance from the doctor and that whole process that goes on as we go. But he's making good progress. He'll be one of those guys that's kind of right on the border of whether he can go or not go from the healing part of it."

In addition to Thuney, the Chiefs are dealing with injury situations involving a handful of other players. Wide receiver Xavier Worthy, nose tackle Derrick Nnadi and linebacker Leo Chenal are all coming back from respective ailments, and that's without mentioning Charles Omenihu's ongoing ACL recovery. The reigning champs are far from 100% at this point in the offseason, with the best player of that group still working his way back.

Reid did have some good news regarding Thuney, though. Even if he misses some or all of training camp due to the pectoral injury, he's expected to be a full go by the time Week 1 of the regular season rolls around.

"Yes," Reid said. "For the regular season, yeah. I think he should be OK unless there's a setback somewhere."

Thuney, 31, is set to enter his fourth season with the Chiefs in 2024. He suffered his injury in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, resulting in him subsequently missing the following two contests. Initially described as a strain, there was growing uncertainty surrounding whether it was instead a tear of the muscle. Given the length of his rehab, it's safe to deduce that the latter scenario was the case.

Nevertheless, Thuney remains a critical part of Kansas City's offense. He's started 49 regular-season games for the club since coming over back in 2021, also making eight starts in the playoffs. The four-time champion brings veteran leadership and stability to the table, bolstering the front five. He carries a whopping cap hit of nearly $27 million into each of the next two years, signaling the likelihood of the Chiefs sticking with him at left guard.

In the event of Thuney not being cleared for full contact by training camp, the clubhouse favorite to fill in for him is Mike Caliendo. Elsewhere, rookies like C.J. Hanson or Hunter Nourzad could factor into the picture. There are plenty of cooks in the kitchen to help weather the storm, but Thuney is nearly impossible to directly replace in the grand scheme.

As long as he's fully activated for the regular season, however, all will be well in Kansas City.

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Jordan Foote

JORDAN FOOTE

Jordan Foote is the deputy editor of Arrowhead Report on SI.com, covering the Kansas City Chiefs. He also hosts the One Royal Way podcast on Kansas City Sports Network. Jordan is a Baker University alumnus, earning his degree in Mass Media. Follow him on X @footenoted.