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Patrick Mahomes protector suffers injury setback ahead of Chiefs’ 2021 season

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif didn’t block for star quarterback Patrick Mahomes in 2020 because he chose to help people during the pandemic. Duvernay-Tardif is back with the Chiefs for the 2021 season, but now his return has been put on hold because of a broken bone in his hand, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport.

The good news is the lineman still has a chance to play in the season opener because his timetable is 4-6 weeks. No surgery is required to fix the hand injury.

Duvernay-Tardif has spent his entire NFL career with the Chiefs after getting selected in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The 30-year-old made his debut in 2015 and started 13 of 16 games that season. He has since been a mainstay as the right guard on the offensive line when healthy/available to play.

The Chiefs overhauled their offensive line after the disastrous showing in the Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kansas City signed Joe Thuney and Kyle Long in free agency while also making a big trade for Orlando Brown Jr. The club also drafted Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith. Lucas Niang will make his NFL debut after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

With all these new faces, Duvernay-Tardif isn’t currently playing with the starters, but he’s a key depth piece who will surely see some snaps and can fill in as a starter when needed. We’ll see if he’s available to return to the lineup for Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns.