Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy explains Darrell Williams’ role after injury to Clyde Edwards-Helaire

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Just when the Kansas City Chiefs could least expect it, an injury to budding second-year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has the team in dire straits heading into their matchup against Washington. While the former first-round pick had seen his share of adversity before spraining his MCL in the game against Buffalo last week, he had just hit his stride on the ground, gaining 100 rushing yards in consecutive weeks.

The team’s insistence on force-feeding him in spite of some relatively significant struggles, including two crucial fumbles in Week 2 and 3, is a sign that the Chiefs are dead-set on developing a ground game with Edwards-Helaire as their star. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy spoke on Kansas City’s pivot toward using backup Darrell Williams more in Edwards-Helaire’s absence ahead of practice on Thursday.

“First of all, he’s very smart,” Bieniemy reminded reporters in his comments. “He has a complete understanding of what we do and how we do it. On top of that, he’s a great locker room guy. He’s great for that room. He’s a veteran player that gets it. He plays special teams, he does a very good job in protection, which he could be a little bit better just by lowering his pad level—that’s just the running back coach in me.

“He’s also a consistent runner and he has good hands out of the backfield. So, he does all the things we ask him to do. On top of that, he’s a great moral support in that room. He’s a great teammate. Those are the types of people that we want on this team so when those opportunities present themselves, that guy understands what’s at stake and he knows what he needs to do in order for us to be successful.”

A former LSU Tiger just the same as Edwards-Helaire, Williams’ veteran mentality could be a boon for the Chiefs’ offense as the second-year phenom recovers from his bum knee. Slated to make the first start of his 2021 campaign on Sunday against the Washington Football Team, Williams could make a big impression on fans with a breakout performance in week six, especially if it happens to push Kansas City over the edge of a win to get them back to .500 on the season.

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