Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said he and the Chiefs are "hopeful" to have quarterback Patrick Mahomes, right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and left tackle Eric Fisher back for training camp ahead of the 2021 season despite all three having recent surgeries.
Veach's update on the Chiefs' three injured offensive stalwarts came in his first offseason media availability Monday morning.
"I’m just looking at my medical notes here, so Pat had his toe surgery on [Feb. 10], talking to Rick [Burkholder] late last week, it’s a three-month recovery, so we’re hopeful somewhere around that mandatory mini-camp if we have it," Veach said. "We certainly think by training camp he’ll be good to go, and we’ll be smart with him. Mitch just recently had his disc worked on, and we’re hopeful for him to return to training camp, and the same thing with Fish. So, we’re hopeful both these guys can complete the rehab and be available for training camp and start the 2021 season. I would probably say Pat is ahead of them just because of that type of injury and probably a quicker recovery, but hopefully we’ll have all three ready to go by training camp."
Veach's timelines for Mahomes and Schwartz aren't shocking, as they line up with what has been said by various reporters and even directly from the sources, but the Chiefs' expectations for Fisher are ahead of most previous estimations and were met with some surprise among media members.
Later during Veach's availability, he was asked for clarification on Fisher and if the Chiefs believe he will be ready to play Week 1.
"Yeah, I think, looking at my notes right here — Achilles surgery [Jan. 29], based on Rick and his medical staff, he projects a mid-August return." Veach said. "Now, listen, how that works, everything is different and everyone recovers differently, so I think with that injury and with the time leading up for the season, Rick has here a mid-August return. You know how that works, that's always to be determined until the player actually reports back to camp and goes through the offseason and [we] see where he is. But the mid-August timeline was put in front of my notes here, so I'll defer to Rick on that and trust his medical expertise."
Mahomes had surgery to repair his turf toe shortly after the Chiefs' Super Bowl LV loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his timeline to return was always likely to have him healthy before training camp according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who tweeted about the injury on Feb. 9.
"As well as Patrick Mahomes ran at times, it was clear his injury was significant," Rapoport tweeted. "He was not 100%. Kudos to Mahomes and the medical/athletic training staff for getting him ready, but he was very hobbled. Now, he’ll have it fully repaired."
Rapoport also noted that Mahomes "should be good to go for the 2021 regular season."
Schwartz made his own injury news on Feb. 24, tweeting a selfie in pre-surgery attire along with the health update and his intention to return for the 2021 season.
Injury Update: I’m getting surgery today. I was hoping to recover enough to get back for playoffs/Super Bowl but that didn’t happen. It’s time to address the issue. The recovery process isn’t too long, which is nice. Looking forward to a healthy 2021! #Chiefs #ChiefsKingdom
If Fisher is able to join Schwartz on the starting offensive line when the Chiefs kick off their season in Week 1, it would be a major change in expectations from even one week ago. Schwartz's return was widely considered to be a 50/50 proposition and Fisher's recovery timeline extended well into the regular season. Now, the Chiefs appear to believe there's a chance their bookends at tackle will be one of their units running it back for another season.