The absence of Isiah Pacheco in Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills could have significant implications for Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense. With Pacheco out due to a shoulder injury, Clyde Edwards-Helaire has the opportunity to step into a central role as the lead running back.
“I know I’ll be there to do my job and do what I need to do,” Edwards-Helaire said confidently. “As far as being on the field as a running back… whenever my number’s called, I just go.”
This change in the running back position presents a unique challenge for Mahomes and the Chiefs. They have heavily relied on Pacheco since he took over from Edwards-Helaire last season. Now, heading into the game without their usual lead back, they enter somewhat unfamiliar territory.
The Chiefs will also have Jerick McKinnon and Deneric Prince in the running back rotation on Sunday. McKinnon, who missed the last two games with a groin injury, has mainly contributed on passing downs this season. Prince, an undrafted rookie, will be promoted from the practice squad for the game.
The workload will likely fall heavily on Edwards-Helaire, who has had limited opportunities this season. His only game with more than six carries came in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears when the Chiefs held a significant lead.
“He’s going to be ready, no doubt,” McKinnon expressed his confidence in Edwards-Helaire. “Everybody in that room is ready… He knows what this moment means for him… He’s prepped for it… I expect nothing less on Sunday.”