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The status of one of the Kansas City Chiefs’ best offensive players remains a mystery just two days before their Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Running back Isiah Pacheco suffered a concussion this past week and is in the league’s concussion protocol, but head coach Andy Reid refused to say whether or not he would play this week.
Pacheco did practice, though, which is a step in the right direction for the running back and the team, per Jordan Foote.
Reid on RB Isiah Pacheco, who returned to practice:
“He practiced today, which is part of that protocol. We have to see how he does after today. . . There’s more to it than that.”
— Jordan Foote (@footenoted) December 29, 2023
Concussions are tricky because they’re completely reliant on how the player reacts on any given day.
This past week, for example, two players in the concussion protocol had two completely different outcomes.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence barely practiced all week with a concussion before being cleared to travel right before his team was expected to leave for Tampa Bay.
Indianapolis Colts wideout Michael Pittman Jr., meanwhile, was cleared ahead of his game but then was ruled out after he developed concussion-like symptoms right before kickoff.
Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, meanwhile, missed the past two games with a concussion and was only just recently cleared to return in Week 17.
So Reid’s refusal to say whether or not Pacheco is trending to play or not isn’t gamesmanship, it’s uncertainty on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour level when it comes to serious head injuries.
If Pacheco can’t go, the team will lean on backup running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (who is also dealing with an illness) or La’Mical Perine, as Jerick McKinnon landed on injured reserve earlier this week.
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