The Chiefs have released their first official injury report since landing in Arizona for Super Bowl LVII, and it’s generally good news for the Chiefs, with one notable exception. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes (ankle), wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee), linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (shoulder), running back Jerick McKinnon (ankles), running back Isiah Pacheco (wrist), and guard Trey Smith were all listed as full participants in Wednesday’s practice on the injury report (ankle).
Wide receiver Kadarius Toney (ankle/hamstring) was the only player who saw limited action.
Is there any significance to this change for Super Bowl LVII?
Despite Mahomes’ admission on Wednesday that quarterback isn’t 100 percent, he has played in every game since sustaining his high ankle sprain in the divisional round against the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is another encouraging sign ahead of the Super Bowl.
On Wednesday, Mahomes predicted that the new, improved, and the more transportable system will be a huge success. How close to 100% I am will become clear on game day.
Perhaps the most important injury update for Super Bowl Sunday.
Andy Reid said Patrick Mahomes, who admits isn’t 100%, can do just about everything in the playbook. Reid referenced a fast practice on Monday and seemed happy with how Mahomes is moving.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) February 8, 2023
Smith-Schuster, who has been battling with knee swelling, will play a full role for the Chiefs, which is the greatest news. During the Super Bowl bye week, on Thursday, Reid outlined the team’s plan of attack for regaining Smith-Schuster: “The most important thing is that we give that [knee swelling] some time to go down. And it’s going really well right now, so [I’m] feeling pretty hopeful.”
The fact that Reid’s upbeat outlook has made it into the practice report bodes well for the Chiefs’ chances. All three of McKinnon, Pacheco, and Smith, who are vital to the Chiefs’ offense, should see action on Sunday. Toney, though…
Reid recalled that last Thursday, Toney was “near and performing well,” adding that on that same day, Toney had also taken part in walkthroughs. Meanwhile, Reid has said that the entire active roster, including Toney, has been practicing all week. However, Reid’s pronouncements have not included any kind of full or limited classification.
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What This Means, in Essence
Smith-Schuster should be monitored closely for his practice participation this week as more knee swelling might result in a return to a restricted role for him by the end of the week. Do not assume that Toney’s minimal involvement on Wednesday was the result of an injury; without official health classifications, it is difficult to tell how much he has been involved in the team’s workouts.
While the Chiefs’ wide receiving corps was ravaged in the AFC Championship Game, there is still cause for concern if Toney isn’t fully healthy by Friday and able to play a meaningful role in Super Bowl LVII.