Kansas City Chiefs rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire isn't feeling threatened with star running back Le'Veon Bell soon to join the offense.
"I thought he handled the news well," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told reporters after Monday's 26-17 win over the Buffalo Bills. "I think they actually talked before anything ever happened, there was a little communication there so I think that's healthy."
Edwards-Helaire indicated he has already spoken with Bell:
The Chiefs may not need Bell all that much based on what Edwards-Helaire did to the Bills.
Rainy conditions in Orchard Park, New York, made it important to establish the ground game. Kansas City handed the ball to the former LSU star 26 times, and he carved up the Buffalo defense for 161 yards.
Bell is a three-time Pro Bowler who was arguably the NFL's best running back for a four-year stretch between 2014 and 2017. Based purely on reputation, you'd expect him to have as prominent role as he can in an offense that's built around Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs are chasing a second straight Super Bowl, though, and Bell is only signed for the remainder of this season. Kansas City doesn't have that much invested in the 28-year-old, so it wouldn't make sense to reflexively make him the primary ball-carrier if it isn't the best move for the team.
Long before they ever could have known Bell would be available, Reid and general manager Brett Veach thought Edwards-Helaire was good enough to take off the board 32nd overall in the 2020 draft. He has done nothing to prove them wrong so far.
When the Chiefs announced the signing of Bell, it was easy to get carried away.
NBA fans will remember well the Golden State Warriors' capture of DeMarcus Cousins in 2018 was met with a similar reaction. Thanks largely to his Achilles injury, Cousins' actual production never exceeded the idea of what he could do in Golden State's offense.
The same thing could happen in Kansas City, where Edwards-Helaire's breakout would limit the scope of Bell's impact.