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Hyde 'taking advantage' of reps with Williams injured

Much of the offseason in Kansas City was spent worrying about the wide receiver position. Would Tyreek Hill be suspended, and for how long. Could the rookie Mecole Hardman step up in his place? Can Sammy Watkins live up to his contract in his second year with the club?

Most of those questions faded away that the league determined that Hill had not violated the league's personal conduct policy and would not be suspended. Kansas City's league-leading passing game, led by Patrick Mahomes, would remain intact.

But there's more to a juggernaut offense than a gunslinger under center and burners outside the hashes. What about the running game?

Kansas City brought back Damien Williams and Darrel Williams and signed journeyman back Carlos Hyde to compete for snaps, but midway throughout training camp, the former Williams (and the Chiefs' presumed starter) is not on the field. The 27-year-old back missed the past week with a hamstring injury and there is currently no timetable for his return.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid reportedly sounded frustrated Saturday when discussing his lead running back's injury.

"He's missed quite a bit," Reid said. "He's missed a lot of plays. It's been great for these other guys."

Those other guys include Hyde, for whom Reid had kinder words.

"Carlos has done a nice job," Reid added. "He's getting a lot of reps and he's taking advantage of them."

Hyde is on his fourth team in less than 17 months. A second-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, Hyde topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 2016 and 2017 before signing with the Cleveland Browns in free agency in 2018. Cleveland, however, preferred Duke Johnson and Nick Chubb and shipped Hyde to Jacksonville where he struggled through the second half of the season. All in all, Hyde played 14 games in 2018, rushing for 571 yards and five scores on 172 carries.

In Kansas City, Hyde suddenly has the opportunity to stake a claim for a starting role again with Williams currently out of the rotation. The 28-year-old back is well aware of what's at stake for him this summer.

"Preseason, I just want to be on point," Hyde said Saturday. "Execute my plays. Whenever Coach calls my number, you know, execute that play. Make plays for the offense. Show the coaches when it comes to game time, they can definitely count on me and show Pat (Mahomes) also that he can count on me, throwing me the ball when it comes and when it's real."

Hyde isn't the only Chiefs back down the depth chart aiming for snaps with Williams out. Kansas City also employ Darrel Williams, as previously mentioned, and rookie back Darwin Thompson. Plus, the Chiefs just converted cornerback Tremon Smith into a backfield threat.

The Chiefs no longer have the bell cow back they did in Kareem Hunt. If Williams doesn't return anytime soon, they won't have a surefire starter either.

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