Chiefs DE Frank Clark speaks on mitigating COVID exposure with team’s recent outbreak

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  • Kansas City Chiefs
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Concerns surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs’ ability to field a competent roster amid their recent COVID outbreak have been a major talking point heading into their matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, though at this point the worst seems to be behind them. Players are starting to return from their stints on the Reserve/COVID-19 list just in time to play in the pivotal Week 16 tilt. It’s is a good sign for the team, but the questions moving forward will center on their ability to not only get healthy, but to stay healthy.

As elimination games are just a few short weeks away, every member of the Chiefs roster understands that their mere presence in the weeks to come could make or break the team’s chances of winning another Super Bowl. Veteran pass-rusher Frank Clark told reporters on Thursday that social distancing and keeping a low profile will be crucial to Kansas City’s hopes of securing another championship, especially as the pandemic looks to play a major factor in the most important games of the season.

Asked specifically about the adjustments he is making in the wake of the Chiefs’ current outbreak, Clark boiled it down to low gravy, telling the media that he plans on being a homebody for the time being.

“Just staying to yourself more and staying out of the way,” Clark explained about what it takes to avoid being part of an outbreak in progress. “I’m not a guy that’s big on doing stuff during the season anyway. I don’t really go out or leave outside my house actually during the season, honestly. I’ve always been like that. I kind of reserve leaving outside the doors of my house for the offseason.

“Also, just making sure you’re taking precautions when family is coming in. I’m understanding that you may want to see those family members you haven’t seen in a minute, but also you have a job. You have a responsibility to another hundred people where you work at, and they trust that you’re doing everything in your power. So, it’s just having accountability for oneself.”

It might sound rich to fans to hear Clark talk about accountability after the tumultuous offseason he had in 2021, but at the core of his comments is a truth that most Chiefs players will have to come to understand; the team cannot afford to be at less than full strength, and sacrifices are likely to have to be made in order to achieve their end goal.

While there is something to be said for personal freedom and each member of the team is entitled to behave however they please, Kansas City got a taste of what a shorthanded matchup against a capable team looks like last week against the Los Angeles Chargers and only narrowly escaped with their AFC West lead intact.

If Clark’s teammates can follow his lead and make decisions that benefit the team as a whole through the next six weeks or so, Kansas City could very well make history by becoming one of just a handful of teams to reach three consecutive Super Bowls.

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Thursday injury report for Chiefs vs. Steelers, Week 16