Chiefs S Tyrann Mathieu still a COVID-19 absence, status for Browns game unknown

Kansas City Chiefs three-time First-Team All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu has been on the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list since Sept. 1 after he reportedly tested positive for the virus and hasn’t practiced ahead of Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. 

Per Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk, Mathieu was once again not spotted at practice Friday. This implies the 29-year-old is, at best, questionable for Sunday’s home matchup against what is perceived to be a fellow playoff contender. 

Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo suggested Thursday he has a “plan A” and “plan B” depending on Mathieu’s status by Sunday afternoon. Multiple previous reports said Mathieu is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, so he can be cleared to return to team activities if he produces two negative virus tests 24 hours apart and isn’t dealing with any symptoms. 

Daniel Sorensen, Armani Watts and Juan Thornhill will be asked to handle additional duties if Mathieu can’t play against a high-powered offense that includes quarterback Baker Mayfield, star running back Nick Chubb and a plethora of impressive pass-catching options. 

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