Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been an exciting new weapon for Patrick Mahomes in the offense as the Kansas City Chiefs work on defense of their Super Bowl 54 championship. With 586 yards on the ground and 28 receptions, he is a multi-faceted threat that keeps opposing teams on their toes.
It’s quite impressive for a guy who came very close to not having a career at all following a fatal shooting during his college days in which he could have been the victim.
The Kansas City Chiefs made the right draft move
The Kansas City Chiefs enjoyed a luxury that few NFL team experience. After defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 54, coach Andy Reid’s team went into the 2020 draft with very few holes to fill despite starting the new league season with the usual long list of free agents.
The Chiefs re-upped 16 veterans before the draft and made pre-emptive moves to lock in Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Chris Jones after it. In between, they took LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the final selection of the first round of the NFL draft.
Keep in mind that Damien Williams, their regular-season rushing leader, ran for 104 yards and a touchdown in the 31-20 victory over the 49ers in the Super Bowl. Also, bringing back LeSean McCoy was an option for Reid, who signed DeAndre Washington from the Miami Dolphins in early April.
But when Williams opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns and McCoy signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two days later, Reid suddenly looked smarter than usual for having drafted Edwards-Helaire.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is doing a solid job
Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire leads the team through nine games with 586 rushing yards. That’s already more than any Chiefs back produced for the full 2019 season. In addition, he has 28 catches for 224 yards to bring his average to 90 yards from scrimmage per game.
The workload has been uneven – 25 carries in the opener vs. the Houston Texans and 26 in the rain against the Buffalo Bills, but a total of just 19 carries over three games leading up to the bye week in the aftermath of Le’Veon Bell’s arrival. But Edwards-Helaire has a pair of 100-yard running games to his credit and makes the Chiefs ever-so-slightly less reliant upon Patrick Mahomes.
With more variety in the offense, Mahomes is having the kind of season – 25 touchdown passes, just one interception, and almost 300 passing yards a game – that can earn him his second regular-season MVP award in three years.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was involved in a fatal shooting while at LSU
Three days before Christmas in 2018, LSU football players Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jared Small, both 19 at the time, were questioned separately following the shooting death of Kobe Johnson, 18.
According to The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, Louisiana, police determined Edwards-Helaire and Small sat in the front seat of a truck for a late-morning meeting to sell an electronic item to Johnson, who was in the back seat. Edwards-Helaire and Small told police that Johnson pulled a gun and demanded their belongings. Either Edwards-Helaire or Small also had a legally owned gun, and fired multiple shots into Johnson, who died at the scene.
The players called police to the scene immediately afterward.
While police never specified which player fired the gun, Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said shortly afterward that a review of the evidence determined that the shooting was a justified act of self-defense.
Both players were allowed to travel with LSU coach Ed Orgeron’s team to Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl against Central Florida. Edwards-Helaire returned the opening kickoff 77 yards in that game.