Kansas City Chiefs Running Back Recovering From Multiple Surgeries

One of the unsung heroes of the Kansas City Chiefs' 2022 championship run is still recovering from the rigors of the season. Speaking with the media on Monday, head coach Andy Reid revealed that running back Isiah Pacheco was still recovering from surgeries to fix hand and labrum injuries and wasn't yet ready to absorb contact.

Pacheco appeared in 17 regular season games and three postseason wins for the Chiefs as a rookie seventh-round pick, amassing a crucial 1222 yards from scrimmage. He finished as the champs' leading rusher, and his 960 yards from scrimmage in the regular season ranked second on the team behind only all-world tight end Travis Kelce.

Pacheco's emergence as an efficient and reliable running back is a big reason why the Chiefs declined former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire's fifth-year option. Pacheco has seized control of the top spot on the Chief's depth chart, and so long as his recovery goes as planned, he should see the lion's share of the touches in 2023. There's no indication his injuries will interfere at all with his availability for training camp, let alone the regular season.

If the Chiefs' transactions this season are any indication, Pacheco could even see his role grow substantially. The Chiefs spent big to add gargantuan offensive tackles Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor, and they let their leading wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster leave in free agency. After leading the league in passing yards last year, the Chiefs may consider a more run-heavy approach in 2023.

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