The Kansas City Chiefs are holding their breath with a couple of key players nursing injuries going into Super Bowl Sunday.
One of those is lead receiver Rashee Rice, who has been dealing with an ankle injury in the lead-up to the big game....make that ankle injuries.
On Thursday, Rice was a limited participant in practice after being full go on Wednesday. His ailment is described in the injury report as "ankles" in the plural.
Rashee Rice injury update: Chiefs WR tweaked another ankle
Andy Reid said that Rice was "all right" after having his ankle stepped on about an hour into Thursday's practice. So it's not a massive injury concern for the wide receiver. He's still expected to play on Sunday.
That doesn't mean the Chiefs shouldn't have any concern for Rice. He already had one ankle hurt and now he's got two. Since they're not at full strength, both may be vulnerable to twisting or spraining when he suits up against the 49ers.
If ever there was a time for preemptive ankle wrapping, it's now. At the very least, it's something to keep an eye on.
Rice has emerged as Patrick Mahomes' biggest receiving target aside from Travis Kelce. As a rookie, he had 79 catches for 938 yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season. He only started eight games.
In the playoffs, his production has only gone up with 6.7 receptions and 74.3 yards per game. Critically, given the drop issues elsewhere in the receiving corps, his catch rate in the playoffs has been a reliable 80 percent.
Mahomes needs Rice on the field, as healthy as possible, to unlock the 49ers defense. Without him, receiving options narrow perilously, especially when it comes to reliability.
The rest of the injury report was positive news at least. Joe Thuney still isn't practicing but hope hasn't run out on the guard suiting up. Running back Isiah Pacheco was a full participant again on Thursday along with Skyy Moore.