The battle to be the starting tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs is likely to last deep into training camp. The biggest question remains, will Brad Cottam be a part of that competition? Kent Babb caught up with Cottam after another session the Volunteer was forced to sit out due to a neck injury suffered last season against the Cleveland Browns.
“It’s terrible. It’s hard to watch,” Cottam said. “I’m trying to help the new guys and pay attention as much as I can, but you want to get out there.”
Cottam said he’s uncertain when he might return to football activities, instead of the conditioning work he’s been doing on an adjoining field. He said he wore a collar to stabilize his neck until just before Kansas City began activities last month.
Cottam said Tuesday that, as frustrating as it was to have his season end after a breakout contest, the more pressing matter was that he temporarily lost feeling in his left arm.
“At that point,” Cottam said, “it was a matter of: ‘Am I going to walk or not?’ It was a very, very scary experience.”
He said he was assured later that, barring an unforeseen circumstance, the injury would heal and he wouldn’t face paralysis or long-term effects.
Cottam said he has seen different doctors throughout the offseason and that his progress is week-to-week.
“For me,” he said, “all I can do is get everything done mentally and make sure I know the system.”
Between Cottam and Moeaki, two of their most promising young tight ends will be dogged by the injury questions until they can stay on the field and be productive.
You never want to make too much out of one game against a bad team, but Cottam’s play against the Browns last year before he got hurt was exciting to watch. It was the type of game I expected to see out of him plenty during his first 29 games before that one.
If you put Moeaki’s potential to the side, it sure looks like the starting job could be Leonard Pope’s to lose. He has never been a blow-you-away type of guy, but he’s the definition of solid. With the additions of Dexter McCluster and Thomas Jones, there shouldn’t be any need for a standout performance at tight end.