The Kansas City Chiefs activated safety Tyrann Mathieu from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday in advance of Sunday’s season opener at home against the Cleveland Browns.
Mathieu has been out of action for a week, with the team still monitoring his fitness to see how much he will be used against the Browns, according to an NFL Network report.
Mathieu, 29, started all 15 games he played in 2021 — the first time in the past four seasons he missed a regular-season game. He was named a first-team All-Pro last season after intercepting two passes, recovering one fumble and making 62 tackles. He returned one of the interceptions for a touchdown.
In eight seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans and Chiefs, Mathieu has started 104 of his 113 games played with 23 interceptions, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an average of 66.8 tackles per season.
–Field Level Media
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.
–Field Level Media
Quarterback Tom Brady apologized to Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu via text message following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-9 win in Super Bowl LV on Sunday, according to an ESPN report.
In its report on Monday, ESPN wrote that it was read the contents of the text out loud.
Brady, 43, and Mathieu had several on-field verbal altercations, with the latter being flagged on one occasion for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Mathieu, 28, was shown pointing a finger in Brady’s face, while the quarterback chased the safety down after he threw a touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. Mathieu was defending Brown on the play.
Per the report, Brady called Mathieu “the ultimate competitor” as well as a “class act” in his text. He also said he’d like to apologize to Mathieu in person in the future.
“Listen, Tom Brady’s a great quarterback,” Mathieu said after the game. “I never really saw that side of Tom Brady, to be honest. But whatever. No comment. It’s over with. I’m done with it.”
Mathieu, however wasn’t done with it on social media. He said Brady started the verbal issues when he called Mathieu “something I won’t repeat” in a since-deleted tweet.
“He’s clearly chasing me, but I got flagged,” Mathieu said in another deleted tweet.
–Field Level Media
<p> A pair of Cardinals players have begun training camp on the physically unable to perform list. </p> <p> Cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu have been placed on the designation, the organization announced on Wednesday. Both players have been working all offseason to recover from ACL tears.</p> <p> Mathieu had a standout rookie season up until his injury. The hope is for the former Heisman Trophy candidate should be able to be ready for the season-opener.</p> <p> Ta'amu told the team site that he doesn't expect it to be that much time <a href="http://prod.www.cardinals.clubs.nfl.com/news-and-events/article-2/Tyrann-Mathieu-Alameda-Taamu-Head-To-PUP/5ccf7694-06b0-4576-b36b-6cdcc1749d60">before he's back on the field</a>.</p> <p> "I feel real good with my rehab," Ta'amu said. "I think I'll be back sooner rather than later. I've been doing a lot of things on the field I couldn't do (a few weeks ago). I feel like my progression is coming along fast."</p> <p> Follow me on Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/jasonhbutt">@JasonHButt</a></p>