By Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated
Pro Football Writers of America
TEMPE, Ariz. — Following a brief pre-practice huddle, an energized Kansas City Chiefs team embarked on their longest and most significant practice period of the week with loud whooping and cheering.
Head coach Andy Reid said the practice, which has mirrored what they’ve done throughout the second half of this season, divides the beginning of the week with much lighter Friday and Saturday practices to come. Thursday’s workout, which lasted one hour and 40 minutes from first horn to huddle breakdown, took place under clear, cloudless skies, full sun and a moderate southwestern breeze.
“[I wanted them] to move around fast, get their timing down,” Reid said. “You’re not waiting until the game to get all of that. And they did. They went through it with helmets on. We did it yesterday without a helmet, today we put the helmet back on and went.”
He complimented the work done by the team’s practice squad which had the challenge these past two weeks of mirroring an Eagles team with diverse skill sets.
“It’s very important,” he said.
Wide receiver Kadarius Toney (ankle), who was the only member of the Chiefs listed as a non-full participant in Wednesday’s workout, was present and involved in practice Thursday and was listed as a full participant.
“Yesterday, he did everything we asked him to,” Reid said. “Today, he did the same thing.”
Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was added to the injury report Thursday with a knee issue, but was present and participating in practice with a limited designation.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes (ankle), linebacker Willie Gay (shoulder), running back Jerick McKinnon (ankles), running back Isiah Pacheco (wrist), guard Trey Smith (ankle) and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) were all listed as full participants in Thursday’s practice, according to the Chiefs.
Every member of the Chiefs’ active roster was in attendance.
Mahomes took on his traditional workload, which has not been altered despite the high ankle sprain.
“He doesn’t want [me to change anything],” Reid said. “He just wants to go. Get everything in and let’s go. He’s real good about that.”
Reid added: “We just put him in and let him rip. He feels good. I mean, I’ll check with him. I’m not telling you I don’t check with him. He’s been good.”
Reid said the weather in particular reminded him of one of his first jobs as an offensive line coach at Northern Arizona University back in 1986. The NAU campus is less than three hours up Route 17 from the team’s current practice spot, a short walk from Sun Devil Stadium here in Tempe.
Noting the team’s looseness throughout the week, he said he felt the same.
“I’m not dancing, but I have a good time. I enjoy doing it. I enjoy doing my job,” he said.
Reid added, before exiting the practice field: “If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be writing.”