KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs will start the 2020 season without cornerback Bashaud Breeland, due to recent suspension.
Breeland will miss the first four games because of off-the-field issues earlier this year. He was arrested in April on multiple charges that included resisting arrest, marijuana possession and driving without a license.
On Wednesday, Breeland himself confirmed the news shared an apology on Instagram, writing in part:
“I post this today because I want to apologize, publicly, to the entire Chiefs organization, my coaches, teammates, family and fans. I accept full responsibility for my actions, and I look forward to getting back on the field with my teammates to defend our Super Bowl Title.”
The suspension leaves the Chiefs with even more depth concerns at cornerback, where they lost Kendall Fuller in free agency and elected not to re-sign veteran Morris Claiborne. They still have their other starter, Charvarius Ward, but the depth behind him includes Rashad Fenton, special teams ace Antonio Hamilton and a couple of rookies.
“As far as the young corners, we’ll see. Time will tell,” said Andy Reid, Chiefs head coach on Wednesday at training camp. “We’ve got a good nucleus of guys and it’ll all sort out here the next couple of weeks.”
The Chiefs did get some positive news: defensive backfield rookie, Bopete Keyes, with will return to the field after recovering from a broken orbital bone. Plus, free safety, Juan Thornhill, is doing some light work for the first time since he tore his ACL last season.
Reid said that Thornhill, who was emerging as a legitimate star, and running mate Tyrann Mathieu give the Chiefs plenty of help in coverage, even though neither is necessarily a cornerback.
“We’re using Tyrann a couple different spots but he could easily play corner. He has that kind of coverage ability,” said Reid. “When a guy comes in to play that position outside, he knows exactly what that guy has to do to work in that spot, and he is able to communicate with him and he does that quite a bit. He knows what’s going on.”
That experience is vital now more than ever. The Chiefs could be forced to use Keyes and fellow rookie L’Jarius Sneed in the opener Sept. 10 against Houston, even though neither will have played an NFL game. The coronavirus pandemic forced the league to scrap preseason games, leaving the work that first-year players get limited only to the practice field.
“There are some spots, some pieces, where we have to put this all together,” said Steve Spagnuolo, Chiefs defensive coordinator. “There’s nothing in our brains that says we’re not going to go through some growing pains. That happens, especially with no preseason games, no going against opponents. It’s going to be a challenge. I think it’s going to be a challenge for all the defenses across the league. We’ll piece it together the best we can.”