KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Kyle Long is determined.
After stepping away from football for a year and announcing his retirement, it didn't take much time for Long to miss the game.
Long joined the Chiefs in the off season and was eager to step back out on the field. That eagerness turned to frustration when Long was injured during training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri.
During Organized Team Activities (OTA) in June, Long injured his lower leg. It was later determined he had a tibial plateau fracture, sidelining him.
“He’s so positive on things. That type of injury, there are not a lot of guys that come back from that in the same year, and he’s powered through this thing and put himself in a position where he can do that and play," head coach Andy Reid said. "So, I think it’s a tribute to him and his work ethic."
His coaches and teammates believed in him and motivated Long to return to the game from injury.
Long missed all of training camp and the first few months of the regular season. On Nov. 9, Long returned to Chiefs practice and on Nov. 30, he was activated to the 53-man roster.
“It was a shocker. I felt so ready to go, so ready physically and mentally to give it a go again, and I felt confident and comfortable in the spring, and obviously the spring didn’t end as well as I’d like. Now here we are back again at ground zero," Long said. "Here we are six months later, I’m back on the field, so I’m happy that I stuck with it.”
It's possible Long will suit up this Sunday as the Chiefs face the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football.
“We’ll see how all that goes. I can just tell you he’s getting better and feeling better," Reid said. "But he’s been practicing every day here and working in there, so he’s doing a nice job."