Chiefs activate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif ahead of AFC title game

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Andy Reid typically begins his postgame news conferences with a rundown of injuries, ranging from the run-of-the-mill bumps and bruises to the more serious stuff that keeps players out a while.

After Kansas City routed the Colts on Saturday to reach its first AFC title game in 25 years, Reid stepped to the podium and said, well, not much of anything.

“We really didn’t get anyone injured,” he admitted. “Everyone, knock on wood, came out OK.”

In truth, the only teams healthier than the Chiefs at this juncture of the season have been done playing for weeks. Even players who have been out of the lineup for a while, such as wide receiver Sammy Watkins, are back to full speed ahead of Sunday’s game against New England.

The Chiefs are so well off right now that they just activated another starter, offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, off injured reserve Tuesday. He’d been out since Week 5 with a broken leg and has been practicing since Dec. 26, and could be available against the Patriots.

Whether he starts remains to be seen; Andrew Wylie has played quite well in his place.

Regardless, the simple fact that the Chiefs’ best run blocker will be back on the sideline provides additional depth up front, and gives their high-powered offense even more confidence.

The Chiefs waived safety Ron Parker in a corresponding roster move.

Watkins missed about six weeks with a foot injury, and the Kansas City offense seemed to be a beat off without its No. 2 wide receiver.

He returned against the Colts and caught six passes for 62 yards while drawing some of the attention off Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, who both had productive games against what had been a stingy Indianapolis defense down the stretch.

“I’m just thankful for the organization, the trainers, my coaches, for the six weeks getting me prepared to play this game and all week just getting me mentally prepared,” said Watkins, who signed a $36 million, three-year contract in the offseason to provide just what he did Saturday.

“Just being on the field was great,” he said, “giving those guys energy.”

The one injury issue that has lingered for the Chiefs all season, and right into the playoffs, has been the painful heel of their best safety, Eric Berry. He tore his Achilles’ tendon and missed nearly all of last season, and the heel began to cause him problems again in training camp. He tried to play late in the season, but was shut down again ahead of Week 17 and did not play against the Colts.

The Chiefs’ emotional leader, not to mention a three-time All-Pro, Berry remains one of the biggest wild cards for Kansas City as it prepares to host the AFC title game for the first time.

Dave Skretta is an Associated Press writer.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Chiefs-activate-Laurent-Duvernay-Tardif-ahead-of-13536817.php.

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