[Kansas City.com] On the heels of the grittiest performance of the season by the Chiefs’ offensive line, John Welbourn stood on the practice field Tuesday, auditioning for another chance.
He says he could write a book about this but doesn’t really elaborate. Here’s what the tests say: Two times in the last two years, Welbourn has come up positive for a banned substance in the NFL. He hints that it was again all a mistake, but follows with, “I don’t want to answer any questions about that stuff.”
So it is up to Chiefs coach Herm Edwards to answer why Welbourn is back after a six-game suspension, a retirement announcement before that suspension, joining a 3-3 team that is seemingly managing OK despite a rash of injuries and departures.
He arrived in town Saturday, and Edwards said Welbourn, a 310-pound right tackle, “looks good” after working with a personal trainer back home in Southern California.
“There really is no clearing the air for this kind of stuff,” Welbourn told The Star. “What’s unfortunate – with things like this is that the attention gets pulled away from what’s important, the team doing well and guys coming off a huge win.”
Welbourn is expected to push third-year lineman Kevin Sampson for the starting job, and he could be back on the field as early as the Nov. 5 game at St. Louis.
The Chiefs’ offensive line has been plagued with injuries. They lost 11-time Pro Bowl left tackle Willie Roaf, who retired because of knee and hamstring injuries, and have played without Kyle Turley (back) and Will Svitek (knee).
Edwards said he’d still want Welbourn back even if Sampson and Jordan Black were playing at a Pro Bowl level.
“He’s a good football player,” Edwards said. “You know what makes coaches good? Good players, last time I checked.”