Chiefs LB Anthony Hitchens indicates he has returned from reserve/COVID-19 list

Charles Goldman
·2 min read

The Kansas City Chiefs are getting a boost to their defense before they return to practice this week.

Chiefs LB Anthony Hitchens posted on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, indicating that he’s back in the building after nearly a full two-week absence. Kansas City placed Hitchens on the reserve/COVID-19 list back on December 22. This was believed to be a result of a high-risk close contact, but his extended stay suggests that he could have contracted the virus.

Hitchens, who is the Chiefs’ defensive signal-caller, missed the final two games of the regular season. This forced Ben Niemann and Darius Harris to wear the green dot in his absence, getting the calls from the sideline and relaying those to the rest of the defense.

In 14 starts this season, Hitchens has 78 combined tackles, two tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, and a pass breakup. He still finished the year second on the team in total tackles, despite missing those final two games. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo spoke about his season back in early December, describing him as the “glue guy” on the defense.

“To me, he’s the glue,” Spagnuolo said of Hitchens. “You don’t have the luxury of seeing the guys like I do and seeing the interaction and the little things that he does. I showed one this morning from yesterday’s practice—I actually made the point that we all should feel fortunate that we have Hitch as a MIKE linebacker because he does a lot of things before the ball is snapped and he helps everybody else play better. I’m sure glad we got him; I think he’s playing some really good football. He always has played aggressive, he always has tackled physically, and I think he brings that to the game. I think all of us, I’m talking about players and coaches, appreciate what he does.”

The team appreciation for Hitchens has likely grown fonder in his absence. His return to action will be a big boost for a defense that is looking to make a statement during the playoffs.

The Chiefs return to practice on Thursday as they prepare for potential opponents in the divisional round. Expect an official transaction, returning Hitchens from the reserve/COVID-19 list to happen either later today or tomorrow.

List

3 Chiefs players earn PFF First-Team All-Pro selections

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Buffalo
+130+3O 54.5
Kansas City
-154-3U 54.5