The Kansas City Chiefs had DT Chris Jones back at practice on Wednesday after several players in the defensive line room were absent with a non-COVID illness to start the practice week.
It’s the time of the year when seasonal illnesses tend to spread quickly through locker rooms. Even with Jones returning, the team was without Khalen Saunders and Mike Danna for a second-straight day. Backup safety Deon Bush was also a non-participant in practice due to illness.
Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo spoke about the situation ahead of his media availability on Wednesday as the team prepares to face the Seattle Seahawks.
‘Well, I’m not sick,’ Spagnuolo joked. ‘I’m here. We’re battling some things with the guys, but I think we’ll be OK. (Athletic trainer Rick Burkholder) is taking care of that.’
Jones, who leads the team with 11 sacks, missed last week’s practice on Friday and was questionable for the Week 15 game with an illness. He ended up playing in the game, but he was clearly dealing with some of the effects of being sick.
Follow every game: Latest NFL Scores and Schedules
Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, who wore a mask during his press conference, also spoke about the illness going around the locker room.
‘Part of my responsibility is making sure that I’m not getting anybody sick,’ Bieniemy said. ‘But on top of that, it’s just making sure I respect the wellness of others as well. We just want to be cautious. I mean, I got to go home. I don’t want to stay home in a hotel for another six months.’
This current illness going around the locker room is the latest challenge for the team as they make their final push to the finish line. They’re doing all they can to ensure that it doesn’t spread, but to also be able to practice and prepare effectively.