By mid-October of his rookie season, Parker Ehinger was settling into a groove.
As a rookie starter at left guard in 2016, the fourth-round pick had built a rapport with left tackle Eric Fisher, and had impressed his coaches with heady pass protection and technique.
Then, boom. An ACL tear against the Indianapolis that ended his season, just like that.
“It was definitely tough, because I felt like each game was coming easier to me, and things were starting to click,” Ehinger said. “It’s a bad part of the game.”
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Ehinger has rehabbed his way back, however, thanks to the help of family and friends. After spending the entire preseason on the NFL’s Physically Unable to Perform list, he was added to the Chiefs’ 53-man roster before the season opener.
Ehinger has not appeared in a game yet –– Bryan Witzmann, his former roomate a year ago, has started the Chiefs’ first two games at his old position.
But he feels close.
“Doing good, man,” said Ehinger, who has been practicing at guard. “Rehabbing, getting healthy and ready to go. I feel just as good as I did before I got hurt.”
Prior to the injury, Ehinger checked in at 325 pounds. He’s leaned up some since then, and although he weighs 320 pounds, he’s redistributed his weight. Most importantly, there is no swelling in the knee, though there’s days where it is sore. That is normal, however, and while the team has decided to take it slow with him –– he was limited in Wednesday’s practice –– he still feels good about his progress.
“I feel good right now, I feel ready to go,” Ehinger said. “I’m just waiting for my name to get called.”
Outside linebacker Dee Ford (shoulder) and inside linebacker Reggie Ragland (knee) were also limited Wednesday, while center Mitch Morse (foot sprain) did not practice.