KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After the team was hit hard by a COVID-19 outbreak, three more Kansas City Chiefs players were cleared from the reserve/COVID list on Monday.
Linebacker Nick Bolton and offensive linemen Lucas Niang and Kyle Long have all been removed from the team’s COVID list.
It’s good news for the Chiefs. At one point they had 13 players on the active roster and three on the practice squad test positive. They managed to get wide receiver Tyreek Hill and several others cleared in time for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But others like Bolton and tight end Travis Kelce were unable to test out of protocols by Sunday morning.
It didn’t matter though. Kansas City beat the inconsistent and offensively challenged Pittsburgh to wrap up another AFC West title, and they made it look easy on both sides of the ball.
Now the Chiefs will hope for the swift return of more players, particularly Kelce, kicker Harrison Butker and punter Tommy Townsend.
The Chiefs were put in a tough spot without Townsend and Butker. Fill-in kicker Elliott Fry was a spotty 3 of 4 on field goals and 3 of 4 on extra points, and Townsend’s brother Johnny was shaky in his place.
And with Kelce out, the Steelers were able to double up on Hill, limiting him to just two catches for 19 yards.
Cornerback Rashad Fenton and safety Armani Watts are also still on the COVID list.
Chiefs Coach Andy Reid was cautiously optimistic Monday that more players could return to the lineup this week, ahead of a tough matchup with the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals.
“I think we have a good shot at that. This thing is so unpredictable, that’s the hard part about it,” Reid said. “So we’ll just see how it goes. If I had to guess, I think they’d probably be back, but let’s just see how it goes this week.”