By Herbie Teope, The Kansas City Star
Pro Football Writers of America
KANSAS CITY, Mo. –– The Chiefs hit the field Wednesday morning for a normal practice, which lasted 90 minutes, without four players ahead of Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.
Left tackle Eric Fisher (Achilles), rookie linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (knee, ankle), wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and center Daniel Kilgore –– the latter two were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday –– were not present for the on-field workout.
The rest of the team, however, worked in some capacity, including wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who hasn’t played since suffering a calf injury in Week 16 of the regular season.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid came away pleased with the energy from the players throughout the morning practice period.
“They looked good,” Reid said.
There are differences in this week’s game preparations for the Chiefs when compared to either the team’s experiences in Super Bowl LIV or even Reid’s involvement in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.
Instead of working in a host city and undergoing a period of adjustment to the daily routine in the days leading to the championship game, the Chiefs are priming for Super Sunday at their own team facility because of the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
Reid pointed out the biggest benefit of practicing in the team’s home base before the big game.
“It’s familiarity,” he said.
Another alteration from the previous year’s experiences surrounded the lack of special guests on the field to observe practice.
Leading to Super Bowl LIV, the FOX Sports broadcast crew took in a Chiefs practice and former NFL head coach/current on-air analyst Jimmy Johnson talked to the team after the workout.
No national TV crew was present on the field for Wednesday’s practice, but Reid said he would still arrange for a guest motivational speaker, albeit virtually.
“I’ve got some plans, but I can’t have anybody come out,” Reid said.
With Wednesday in the books, the Chiefs will finalize Super Bowl preparations with practices on Thursday through Saturday before flying Saturday afternoon to Tampa.