The Chiefs’ Super Bowl loss to the Buccaneers was a result of a number of factors, but chief (!) among them was the absence of starting offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz. Without his two OL bookends, Patrick Mahomes was victimized by Tampa’s relentless pass rush, and Kansas City’s top-flight offense was unable to establish any sort of rhythm.
Schwartz, who suffered a back injury in October that ended his streak of 134 consecutive regular-season starts, underwent back surgery today, as Adam Teicher of ESPN.com relays. Schwartz posted a picture of himself in his hospital bed on Instagram, and luckily for the Chiefs, he says his recovery is not expected to take too long.
“It’s time to address the issue since it isn’t going away on its own,” he wrote. “The recovery process isn’t too long, hence being able to wait until now to do it, otherwise I would have done this earlier. Looking forward to a healthy 2021!”
It sounds like Schwartz, who will turn 32 in June, will be back on the field no later than Week 1 of the 2021 season. He has never made a Pro Bowl and has just one First Team All-Pro nod to his credit, but he has doubtlessly been one of the best right tackles in the game since he entered the league as a second-round pick of the Browns in 2012.
He is due to earn just $4.9MM in base salary this season — the last of his current contract — but will carry a $10MM cap hit. Still, given his value to the team, that cap charge does not seem particularly onerous, though the Chiefs could consider an extension to create more flexibility. The club is roughly $23MM over the cap at the moment.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.