Chiefs Remain Committed to Clyde Edwards-Helaire After Signing Le'Veon Bell
In preparation for the Buffalo Bills, the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff hasn’t really had a chance to think about how they’ll use recently signed running back Le’Veon Bell.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, Bell can’t even join the Chiefs until he passes a COVID-19 test for four consecutive days. That could theoretically put him in a position to join starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the Chiefs on Monday night, but based on head coach Andy Reid's comments on Bell, that seems unlikely.
“He has to go through all the protocols and that, so nothing’s official yet,” Reid said. “When it becomes official, we’ll talk. He’s been a heck of a player, I wouldn’t expect anything different here.”
Bell officially joined the Chiefs' roster after Kansas City placed guard Kelechi Osemele on injured reserve on Saturday.
Both Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy have said they’ve had the chance to talk with Edwards-Helaire since an agreement with Bell was reached. It’s clear they aren’t giving up on the team’s top pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.
“He’s working his tail off every day to just take another step forward,” Reid said. “He’s had a tremendous year up to this point and will keep getting better, which is a great thing.”
Edwards-Helaire is the Chiefs’ top rusher by far this season, gaining 344 yards and a touchdown off 81 carries.
The next leading rusher, quarterback Patrick Mahomes, has 129 yards on over half the number of carries. Damien Williams and Darwin Thompson combine for 67 yards.
Edwards-Helaire has also gained 169 yards off 17 receptions this season. He is joined in the running back passing game by Williams, who has 35 yards on six receptions.
“I will answer this like this — first of all, we drafted Clyde for a reason,” Bieniemy said. “Clyde is doing a heck of a job… We have been very proud of what our guys have put on tape.”
Before being released by the New York Jets on Monday, Bell had appeared in two games, totaling 74 rushing yards on 19 attempts, and 39 receiving yards on three receptions.
Once he steps onto the field in a Chiefs uniform for the first time, he could be the key to developing a one-two punch system with Edwards Helaire, or even a one-two-three punch with the addition of Williams.
“I know when I played you could never have enough good players,” Bieniemy said responding to a question unrelated to Bell. “So, you want to make sure that you have great depth at every particular position because you never know when the next man is going to be called upon to play that role. ... Whether it's two playing that throughout the course of the game, sometimes three with a third-down back included, the thing you want to do is make sure that you have the right amount of ammo to go out there and help you be as prolific as you can be.”
Bell’s involvement with the Chiefs should become a little more clear following this week’s game against the Bills.
Until then, the Chiefs are worried about one thing: rebounding from a loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
“I want the guys to just come out and play, be themselves,” Reid said. “Let the personalities show and play. I expect the coaches and the players to do the same thing. That’s how we roll, we’ve always done that here and don’t plan on changing it.”