KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs provided a peek into what their world will look like with Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Le'Veon Bell as the featured running back on Sunday. Edwards-Helaire played more (27 snaps to 17 for Bell) and got the ball more (nine touches to six for Bell).
But the way the Chiefs divided the backfield work in their 43-16 win over the Denver Broncos might not be the way they do it this Sunday against the New York Jets at Arrowhead Stadium (1 p.m. ET, CBS) or beyond. Bell just walked in their door last week after signing as a free agent. The Chiefs had 51 snaps against the Broncos in an unusual game.
They're eventually going to ask for more from their backs and could go either way with that request.
"Every week is going to be different," coach Andy Reid said. "You play these different teams and they have different ways of going about their business against you, but to have that flexibility is maybe the most important thing and to have players that can do those things I think is important.
"It doesn't hurt to have a running mate or two and we're lucky to have a nice group of running backs now. Different flavors isn't bad to throw at a defense, and I think when you see Le'Veon, you're going to see how big he is -- he's a big man. So, that's a different flavor than maybe what we have at the other spots. But somewhere, they're all going to play. That's just how it goes."
Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs' first-round draft pick this year, responded well to the Bell signing. He scored a touchdown this week against the Broncos a week after he set a career-high with 161 rushing yards in a win over the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs signed Bell the week of the Bills game.
"Clyde was excited," running backs coach Deland McCullough said of how Edwards-Helaire reacted to the Bell signing. "He's definitely very comfortable in his skin. He knows how we feel about him. The numbers, the way he's played and different things like that speak for itself. I think if he wasn't playing well he may be more apprehensive or he'd be more looking over [his shoulder]. But the guy is playing well."
The Chiefs used both players together for one snap against the Broncos. Both initially lined up in the backfield before splitting wide to different sides of the field, Bell to the left and Edwards-Helaire to the right. Patrick Mahomes' pass intended for Edwards-Helaire in the flat was incomplete.
The Chiefs might use them together more often.
"We've got a couple of other things in [the playbook] where we can utilize [Bell's] skill and Clyde's," Reid said.
"It was great to get Le'Veon in and get him going. I thought he was very productive. There are a couple things he'll learn from, just with the offense, but I thought the run game part of it was excellent. He had good, positive yardage and ran hard. It was great for 25 too, Clyde, coming off six days rest. That's a new thing for a rookie, how are you going to handle that? I love the way he did. He ran hard and had, again, great production."
Against the Broncos, Edwards-Helaire rushed eight times for 46 yards with a touchdown. Bell had six carries for 39 yards. Edwards-Helaire also caught a pass for 17 yards.
"Clyde obviously continued to put up tough runs and break tackles and get different types of stuff," Mahomes said. "And I thought Le'Veon did a great job coming in off a week of practice where you only get a couple days and being able to step right in and have a few big runs and really get his footing. Obviously, there's still some little details that we need to work out here and there, but for someone to come in and have success like that early is really exciting."