Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) warms up against the Minnesota Vikings before the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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Tyrann Mathieu’s status for Week 1 ‘up in the air’

Kansas City Chiefs star safety Tyrann Mathieu missed another practice Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19, putting his status in question for the team’s season opener.

Mathieu, 29, was put on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sept. 1. He’s reportedly vaccinated, so all he needs to rejoin the team is two negative tests more than 24 hours apart and to be asymptomatic. It’s unclear which of those prevents him from practicing.

What is clear is that the Chiefs are planning to play without Mathieu against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday while holding out hope that he will.

“It’s up in the air and it’s a little bit challenging to game plan for,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said Thursday. “We’ve got Plan A and Plan B.”

Plan B would have to come from some combination of Daniel Sorensen, Juan Thornhill and Armani Watts at safety.

But Mathieu has at least been a part of Spagnuolo’s defensive meetings virtually.

“Thank God we’re way ahead in this whole Zoom thing,” Spagnuolo said. “Otherwise we’d be trying to figure out (how to coach him). The camera sits right in front of me as I address (the defense) and he’s right there. I get to talk to him a little bit in the meetings. He hasn’t missed a beat.”

Mathieu is coming off the third All-Pro season of his career. He intercepted a career-high six passes in 2020 and started 15 games, missing Week 17 when the team rested its regulars. Other than that, he has not missed a game the past four seasons.

Mathieu has 23 career interceptions.

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