Chiefs expect Laurent Duvernay-Tardif back for season opener

The Chiefs did not place right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif or center Austin Blythe on injured reserve this week, a sign both players were close to returning.

Sure enough, General Manager Brett Veach said this week he expects both players back to practice soon.

“Yeah I think these guys are going to be good for Week 1,” Veach said, via Charles Goldman of USA Today. “This short-term IR is at least three weeks. . . . I would anticipate both these guys getting out there and practicing this week. Maybe not much so Blythe, but I think Blythe may be only a week away. I think LDT will get out there and do some stuff this week and test that hand. I think both these guys should be shorter than the three weeks so it would make sense to just practice and see how they feel and get with (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) and get with the coaches, see how they feel and make a decision based on that.”

Duvernay-Tardif broke a bone in his hand early in training camp. Blythe played in the first preseason game before undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Both are listed as backups at their positions.

The Chiefs, though, kept 10 offensive linemen on their initial 53-player roster.

“I think the benefit of having 10 is we have some flexibility,” Veach said. “So we have guys that can line up and play center like (Nick) Allegretti and Mike (Remmers), who can do both. (Andrew) Wylie can do guard. So, we have some flexibility in regard to our active game-day roster.”