There were plenty who believed Clyde Edwards-Helaire would go into the season as the Kansas City Chiefs' starter at running back. And that was before Damien Williams opted out.
Still, for Chiefs and fantasy fans, alike, Friday saw what could be a sign of even more offensive fireworks to come. When the reigning Super Bowl champions hit the practice field, it was the dynamic rookie who was getting first-team repetitions.
"Clyde has been doing a lot of work with the first group, so that's valuable work for him," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Saturday. "Is everything perfect? No, not right now, but he's working like crazy to get it there and he's got a good attitude about it."
Rookies across the NFL are posed with a challenge unlike any before as they must get acclimated with their new squads after a digital offseason and with no preseason games. So, Edwards-Helaire being imperfect initially is to be expected, but the LSU product has been tabbed as a stellar fit for Reid’s offense since he was plucked by the Chiefs with the final pick of the first round in the 2020 NFL Draft.
It was the highest Reid has had a running back drafted in his career, which is heading into its 22nd campaign. However, it's also the first time the Chiefs organization drafted a running back in the opening round since Larry Johnson in 2003.
There's plenty of reason for excitement when it comes to Edwards-Helaire, the only back picked in the first round this year.
During a perfect season with the Tigers last year that culminated with an NCAA title, Edwards-Helaire had 1,414 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns with 453 yards receiving on 55 catches added in.
Now, the rookie's looking to win back-to-back titles just like his new team is.
Before Edwards-Helaire can showcase just how great a fit he is for the Chiefs offense and just how dynamic an NFL back he can be, he'll have to get a grasp of the K.C. scheme. And there's no better way to get ready than to run with the first team, which CEH is doing.