Chiefs coach Andy Reid approached the podium gingerly, a cane in his hand. This was Wednesday, and Reid was making his annual appearance at the NFL Combine, only he obviously didn’t look quite normal.
“All right, so we’ve only got one injury to talk about,” Reid said, breaking into a smile.
Turns out the injury, Reid revealed, was why he uncharacteristically missed the Senior Bowl in January.
“I had a little surgery done, a knee replacement,” Reid said. “Yeah, I’m gonna be ready to go (for the season). I won’t be starting on PUP (physically unable to perform).”
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All jokes aside, Reid — who was speaking publicly for the first time since the end of the season — spent his 15-minute session addressing a number of topics.
One of the most timely was his thoughts on the team’s recent decision to release receivers A.J. Jenkins and Donnie Avery, though Reid certainly didn’t delve into much detail.
“Listen, I appreciate both those guys, Donnie and A.J.,” Reid said. “Two different situations. One guy’s a bit younger than the other guy. Donnie’s had a lot of good years in the National Football League. Hopefully, he continues to have good years. I’m pulling for him. A.J. is just learning. He’ll continue to do that, and hopefully he hooks on with somebody and has that opportunity.”
Avery, 30, isn’t getting any younger, but Jenkins is just 25. That’s why Reid was asked why the team chose to release Jenkins after two largely unproductive seasons.
“There’s some things he needs to work on, and he’ll do that,” Reid said. “We put (him) through what we needed to put (him) through and worked our way through (it) ... but I wish him the best as he goes forward.”
Reid was also asked about the health of linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Mike DeVito, who are recovering from Achilles’ injuries.
“They’re doing well,” Reid said. “The neat thing to watch is they work out together and challenge each other (while) rehabbing together ... I think both of them are in the best shape of their lives right now. So it’s been kind of neat.”
Reid said quarterback Alex Smith, who missed the last game of the season because of a lacerated spleen, is “doing well” and is “getting himself ready for the upcoming year.”
Reid also said he has kept in touch with safety Eric Berry, who is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The two exchanged texts a couple of days ago.
“He’s doing well,” Reid said. “He’s definitely headed in the right direction, as far as the actual medical part of it goes. His spirit is strong. He’s a stud, anyway you look at it. Anybody that’s got to fight that, they’ve got a special place in my heart.”
Reid was also asked about quarterback Tyler Bray, and how he tore his ACL after the season.
“He was just working out on his own,” said Reid, who declined to get into the specifics of the injury but was asked if any decision has been made about Bray’s future.
“Yeah, we’ll see,” Reid added. “I haven’t got that far.”
The Chiefs also have a number of free agents on the roster, and while the status of linebacker Justin Houston is the primary concern, Reid was also asked about center Rodney Hudson, and whether it’s realistic to expect he’ll be back.
“I think it’s probably too early (to say) right now,” Reid said. “I think he wants to be back and we would love to have him back. So there’s communication, and if there’s communication, that’s a good thing. He’s a good player.”