Hours before the Kansas City Chiefs take to the field for their Super Bowl matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, the defending champs have received a piece of good news on the injury front, as Jerick McKinnon is reportedly expected to be healthy enough to suit up.
There is a good chance the #Chiefs will have RB Jet McKinnon today. He’s considered a game time decision but he’s expected to go per source. Remarkable that’s he’s been able to get himself ready for this game.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) February 11, 2024
The running back has not appeared in a game since the middle of December after suffering a groin injury. He ended up appearing in just 12 games in the regular season.
For a time, it did not seem like the 31-year-old would recover quickly enough to be activated from injured reserve in time for the much-awaited contest. But McKinnon has defied the odds, even if he was limited all week at practice. His experience could prove beneficial for Kansas City, especially since the Niners are anticipated to make life difficult for the Chiefs on Sunday.
There might be additional motivation for the Georgia Southern University product to suit up for Kansas City, though. Before joining the Chiefs in the 2021 offseason, he spent multiple years with the Niners.
Knee injuries caused him to miss the 2018 and 2019 seasons, the latter of which saw his team make a trip to the Super Bowl against, incidentally, Kansas City.
Then, McKinnon’s comeback trail in the 2020 campaign was met with a lot of praise, as he appeared in 16 games for San Francisco. He had 81 carries for 319 yards and five touchdowns that season while also catching 33 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown.
However, it was his Kansas City stint that finally allowed him to become a champion. McKinnon helped the Chiefs reach Super Bowl LVII, where he caught three passes for 15 yards and carried the ball four times for 34 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles.
It remains to be seen if he can recreate the magic of last year’s championship game, considering that his health is likely not 100 percent this time around. If he can’t contribute that much for Kansas City, expect Isiah Pacheco to carry a heavier load on offense for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.