Chiefs' Clyde Edwards-Helaire Out, Tyreek Hill Expected to Play vs. Steelers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IV

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill during pre-game warmups before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

The Kansas City Chiefs will likely have the services of No. 1 wide receiver Tyreek Hill for Sunday's AFC Wild Card Round playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Head coach Andy Reid said on Friday that Hill and running back Darrel Williams are expected to play despite heel and toe injuries, respectively, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Kansas City will be without running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, however, because of a shoulder injury.

There was some concern about Hill's heel injury heading into the playoffs, but he played all 17 games during the 2021 regular season and has never played fewer than 12 contests in a single year since he entered the league in 2016.

While Kansas City's offense has a number of playmakers, nobody can replicate what the 27-year-old does on the field.

His speed is often too much for cornerbacks to counter in single coverage, which forces other defenders his way and opens up the field for his teammates. He is also one of the most productive receivers in the league and made his sixth straight Pro Bowl this season behind 111 catches for 1,239 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Chiefs don't rely heavily on their running game, but if T.J. Watt and the Pittsburgh defense is able to get pressure on quarterback Patrick Mahomes, it could increase the importance of establishing the run.

Reid won't have the luxury of doing so with Edwards-Helaire, who missed the final two games of the regular season after scoring a touchdown against Pittsburgh in Week 16.

Edwards-Helaire missed seven regular-season games and finished with 517 yards and four touchdowns on the ground as well as 19 receptions for 129 yards and two scores.

Williams was the primary fill-in for Edwards-Helaire when he was out, and the 26-year-old was highly productive, setting career highs with 558 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns as well as 47 receptions for 452 yards and two scores.

Look for Williams to be a major part of the K.C. offense on Sunday along with Hill and tight end Travis Kelce.