Chiefs short at tight end after Demetrius Harris has surgery


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Some observations on the first day of offseason practice for the Kansas City Chiefs:

  • The Chiefs are short at tight end after backup Demetrius Harris again had surgery on a broken foot that shortened his 2014 season. Coach Andy Reid indicated Harris’ initial surgery didn’t take, forcing the need for another procedure. “The natural grafting that normally takes place when you put a screw in there didn’t take place,’’ Reid said. “So they went in and they grafted it and they represented a screw in the bones there and we’ll see how he does. [The doctors] feel pretty confident about this.’’ Reid said he was confident Harris would be able to return for the start of training camp in July. Until then, the Chiefs have only Travis Kelce as a proven player at tight end. The others getting snaps with the starters in practice were journeyman Richard Gordon and rookie James O’Shaughnessy, a fifth-round draft pick. It might be a stretch to believe O’Shaughnessy, who played at Illinois State, can provide immediate help. “Up to this point, he’s done very well,’’ Reid said. “I’ll be curious to see as we keep giving him things how he handles it. Once we put pads on, that will be another test."

  • The Chiefs went with a starting offensive line of left tackle Eric Fisher, left guard Ben Grubbs, center Eric Kush, right guard Jeff Allen and right tackle Donald Stephenson. Also of note, Zach Fulton, who started last season at guard, was working as the backup center. Rookie Mitch Morse, a second-round pick, handled all of the center snaps in a seven-on-seven drill but was the third-team right guard in full-squad drills. Reid cautioned not to make much of the lineup. “We’re going to find the five best guys,’’ he said. “It’s open competition.''

  • Reid indicated safety Eric Berry has completed his treatment for lymphoma. "He’s going to get his big end-of-the-school exam done,'' Reid said. "He’s been through all the treatments. Now the doctor is going to sit down with him and go over exactly what the results of that are.''

  • The Chiefs were missing two defensive starters, safety Husain Abdullah and lineman Allen Bailey. Reid said both had travel problems because of the heavy rain in Texas and couldn’t get back to Kansas City in time. “They’re trying to make their way back here,’’ Reid said.

  • Linebacker Derrick Johnson didn’t look like someone who missed all but the season opener last year because of a torn Achilles tendon. Johnson moved around like he did before the injury. “As far as being explosive and running, I’m there,’’ Johnson said. “I’ve got to get the mental part down again. It’s like riding a bike. I’ll get there. I’m very confident in myself.’'