Latest update on Chiefs DB Tyrann Mathieu’s status for Week 1 vs. Browns

By Charles Goldman

Kansas City Chiefs DB Tyrann Mathieu is set to miss his second consecutive practice ahead of Week 1, putting his game status in doubt for the season opener against the Cleveland Browns.

Mathieu was placed on Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday, September 1, following a positive test. There was some optimism following Andy Reid’s update ahead of practice yesterday, but Mathieu remains in the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

It’s still unclear if Mathieu will be available for Kansas City on Sunday. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo emphasized that his unit is planning for multiple scenarios.

“It’s up in the air right now,” Spagnuolo said. “It’s a little bit challenging to gameplan for, but we’ve got Plan A and Plan B. We would handle it no different, obviously, than somebody getting hurt in the middle of the game. Guys have got to be ready to step up.”

Mathieu has been participating in team meetings via Zoom. Should the team not have Mathieu available to play, they’ll at least have the added benefit of a full practice week preparing other guys to fill in on the defense.

“The advantage we have, I guess, versus that particular scenario is that we’re practicing with guys that we think might have to play,” Spagnuolo said. “So, we’ll move guys around, do the things that we have to. [We’ll] try to do most of the things that we do with Tyrann but certainly, some of those things are going to change and some of the calls might alter because of that.”

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Andy Reid suggested that Tyrann Mathieu could play without practicing during the week. That’s not typical of Reid as he usually likes his players to get at least one practice in before playing in a game.

Spagnuolo wasn’t as convicted as Reid, but he also suggest that Mathieu could play without much practice preparation.

“We don’t know, right?” Spagnuolo replied. “But this dude, he’s a special guy in my opinion. So we’ll see, but I think we’ve got to be fair to him. We always say this: ‘Sometimes you’ve got to protect the players from themselves.’ So we’ll be careful there. Coach Reid and I have talked about it. We’ve talked about it with Rick. We’ll see where we are when the time comes.”

Mathieu still has a chance to practice on Friday, but for now, Spagnuolo anxiously awaits the results of tomorrow’s battery of COVID-19 testing.

“I don’t know that yet,” Spagnuolo said of Mathieu practicing on Friday. “We know it was one of the scenarios. We won’t know really, until tomorrow.”

The NFL’s latest rules require that a vaccinated player test negative for COVID-19 twice, 24 hours apart, before returning to action.

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