By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
It was a warm, muggy day for the first fully padded practice at Chiefs training camp Monday.
It was a productive, straightforward practice that was a bit shorter, per NFL rules. There was a brief scare for fans when Patrick Mahomes slightly tweaked his left leg toward the end of practice.
He went to the medical tent to get tape on his lower left leg, and he was back on the field doing individual drills before practice ended.
Head coach Andy Reid says Mahomes will be fine, and he felt that the first day in pads was solid overall.
"You play in these things and you get used to them," he said. "That's what this is all about. We try to do it where guys are off the ground and they can get the work in and keep people healthy, but still play hard and get ourselves into football shape for a game."
Going back to Mahomes briefly, he told ESPN's Adam Teicher, "I got stepped on pretty hard... luckily it wasn't any of the ankle or anything like that."
Elsewhere, tight end Jody Forston was held out Monday with a quad strain, but he’ll be back in a few days, says Reid.
No Orlando Brown Jr. yet, though he’s expected to be at camp any day. Reports Monday indicate that Brown has signed his franchise tag, which will pay him $16.6 million this season.
Brown has to pass a physical and conditioning test before practicing. Reid said he doesn't precisely know when Brown will be on the field.
"When he gets here, we'll talk to him and see where he's at and be smart with it," Reid said. "When the fish is in the boat, I'll let you know."
Brown was acquired in a trade with the Ravens last year and he’s a three-time Pro Bowler. He’s expected to again be the go-to guy at left tackle. In his absence, fifth-year pro Roderick Johnson has been anchoring that position.
The former Blue Springs and Kansas State star is in his sixth year in the NFL and his first in a Chiefs uniform.
Needless to say, he's happy to be home.
"I went to high school in Blue Springs, so I was 15 miles east of the stadium," Lee said. "Just riding by, you wish and hope to be in this position. Now that I'm in it, I'm thankful. It's a blessing and I have to take advantage of the opportunity."
Lee has been getting first-team reps at outside linebacker after spending a decent chunk of his career either on practice squads or special teams. He’s grasped the scheme well, but Lee wants to keep earning his spot.
"I'm a guy trying to earn my spot and I do that each and every way," he said. "So, whatever my role is, I'm going to take advantage of that, and then we can talk after that. But, right now, it's all about the work."
Lee spent his freshman and sophomore year of high school at St. Joseph Central before transferring to Blue Springs. He says being back at the Mosaic Training Fields does invoke some memories from his days in St. Joe.
"We used to come over here and I was a towel boy and gave the water," Lee recalled. "So, I got to hand over towels to Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. And I'm like, 'Wow. Like, this is amazing.' So now, to come back and be in this position, this is a great opportunity."
Lee has spent time with the Vikings, 49ers, Lions and Browns. He's appeared in 66 games, making six starts. He owns 99 career tackles, including four tackles for loss.
Travis Kelce - likes the Chiefs, but not the helmet guardian caps
The seven-time Pro Bowler and a fan favorite at tight end, Kelce is entering his 10th season with the Chiefs - all under Andy Reid.
Kelce left no doubt - he'll finish out his career in Kansas City.
"I don't see myself going anywhere else, man," he said. "(Reid) makes the game fun, makes the game easy on a lot of us. On top of that, we know he's giving it his all. I joke about it all the time - I never see his car move from the parking lot at Arrowhead. He's doing everything he can to set us up for success."
While Kelce is fond of the Kingdom, he's not so fond of the new guardian caps - the soft shells that go over players’ helmets and are designed to curb head injuries.
Linemen, linebackers and tight ends are all required to wear them through the second week of the preseason.
Numerous other players around the league have been critical of them. That list now includes Kelce.
"I think the guardian caps are silly," Kelce remarked, noting that they look like "mushroom caps" that "add extra weight."
The Chiefs are back at practice Tuesday morning.
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.