From undrafted to starter, Chiefs’ Darrel Williams has worked his whole life for this

Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire went on the injured reserve list Tuesday with a sprained MCL in his knee, which means Darrel Williams will get the start against Washington.

Jerrick McKinnon will back him up, and because the Chiefs typically have three running backs active on game day, the Chiefs signed Elijah McGuire to join Derrick Gore on the practice squad.

There’s nothing good about Edwards-Helaire’s injury for this 2-3 team, but there is one silver lining: Williams will get to do something he’s never done before.

He’s been a key contributor for the Chiefs the past four years, appearing in every game last season and taking on an increased role when Edwards-Helaire sprained his ankle in the postseason.

But he’s never before started a regular season NFL game.

All signs point to that changing this Sunday when the Chiefs take on the Washington Football Team.

“I’ve worked my whole life to be a starter in the league. I finally get this chance, finally get this opportunity, and just have to make the most of it,” Williams said. “Come here each and every day willing to work and put in the work.”

It’s a big moment for Williams, who started with the Chiefs in 2018 as an undrafted free agent.

That’s right, Williams’ name wasn’t called in the 2018 NFL Draft, leaving his mom in tears.

“It’s something big for my mom and dad,” Williams said Wednesday. “I didn’t get drafted, and just the look in my parents’ eyes — watching my mom cry — that meant something to me because I had never seen my mom cry. Having that moment and not getting drafted, I took that to heart.”

The Chiefs signed him as a free agent that year, but he was buried on the team’s depth chart behind backs like Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware. But he’s been productive and consistent in his four years with Kansas City.

Already this season he’s rushed for 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 26 carries. Over his career, he’s logged 453 rushing yards, 355 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

Depending on how often the Chiefs use him, he could add to those stats in a big way Sunday as many teams seem to be pressuring Kansas City to run the ball more. But coach Andy Reid has remained quiet so far about how they’ll break up work in the backfield.

No matter what, Williams is ready to make an impact.

“Now I get this opportunity. I have to make the most of it.”

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