Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chiefs Welcome Back TE Demetrius Harris, Plan to Ease Him In

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chiefs Welcome Back TE Demetrius Harris, Plan to Ease Him In

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chiefs tight end Demetrius Harris returned to the practice field Sunday and Monday, marking his first football activity since Week 10 of the 2014 season.

Harris practiced in shells Sunday, full pads Monday and the Chiefs are expected to ease him back to action.

"Obviously from our standpoint, it's great to have him back and to see him back out on the field," offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. "But really for him to kind of get himself back in football shape right now is kind of the expectation we have going forward."

The Chiefs are happy to have Harris back on the field, but a realistic timetable on his return to full form won't come immediately.

"He's run routes, he's done some things that way," Pederson said. "But it's one thing routes on air versus bodies on defenses and making those transitions that way. It's going to take some time and we can't rush him back, either. We got to continue to monitor that progress as we go.

Harris, who admits he felt a "little sluggish" Sunday, suffered a season-ending fractured right foot innocently enough during pregame warmups against the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 9.

And he immediately knew something was wrong.

"I was simply running a stick, an out route, I just felt it pop," Harris said. "After that, I just felt weird. I ran a go after that and I was just saying, 'I can't go,' because I couldn't walk no more. I mean, I was walking, but it was pain."

Harris originally underwent surgery on Nov. 12, and finished the season appearing in eight games with three starts, totaling three catches for 20 yards.

His return nine months later, however, didn't go smoothly.

Harris felt he was ready for organized team activates, but suffered two setbacks when a coach noticed he wasn't "running right."

"He recommended I get another surgery, so I had to get another one," Harris said of his early May procedure. "Then I got another setback when I got staph in my foot. That was another setback -- two weeks after my surgery."

Harris, who missed all of organized team activities and mandatory minicamp, said the original timetable following the second surgery was three months, which coincided with the start of training camp. …

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