There's rarely a good thing to say during a difficult time, but for Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who spent about 20 minutes talking with the local Kansas City media Sunday afternoon after Saturday's heartbreaking loss to the Tennessee Titans, the one major takeaway was his optimism heading into the offseason because of the players the team will return from injury.
"You go back and look at your IR staff," Reid explained. "Heck, there are pretty good football players there, which leads you to optimism for the upcoming year."
Those players would include guys like receiver Chris Conley, center Mitch Morse, linebacker Dee Ford, and safety Eric Berry, among others.
"It's one of those things you have to do," Reid explained of going back and looking at who they lost this year. "It's all part of this process. There are some pretty good football players right there. I'm proud of the guys that had to step in and do the job in which they did. On the other side of that, guys overcame some things."
Reid, who has often spoken of what Berry's presence has meant to the team—whether he was on the field or just on the sidelines—gave an update on the All-Pro safety heading into the offseason.
"He's doing well," Reid explained of Berry. "He's been up here rehabbing and will continue to do that. I know it's hard for him to be down there watching, that's not an easy thing. I know he looks forward to getting back out there and playing.
"Again, the guys that stepped in for him, they had big shoes to fill and I thought they did a pretty good job, a respectful job."
The injuries didn't just pile up leading up to Saturday's game, there were also a couple of key injuries that had an impact on both sides of the ball during the game.
Tight end Travis Kelce left the game in the first half after hauling in four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown, but took a big hit to the side of his helmet after a reception late in the first half and was ruled out for the rest of the game with a concussion.
The Chiefs managed just 131 yards of total offense after Kelce left the game, including just 61 in the second half.
Then, on the first play of the second half, defensive lineman Chris Jones went down with a knee injury and did not return.
Before that injury, the Titans had managed 127 yards of total offense, and running back Derrick Henry had 10 carries for 42 yards.
After Jones left the game, the Titans picked up 270 yards of total offense and Henry carried it 13 times for 114 yards and a touchdown. Henry looked to be one of the major differences in the second half, helping the Titans convert all seven of their third-down opportunities in the final 30 minutes of the game and overcome an 18-point deficit.
"We had made a stand against some pretty good run teams (in the past), and unfortunately, we were beat up there a little bit in the front and kind of piecing it together," Reid explained. "That's a tough deal. It might have caught up with us a little bit there."
While all teams deal with injuries every year and the Chiefs couldn't quite overcome a few more last Saturday, they are excited about getting some of their key pieces back for the 2018 season, including Berry, Morse, Conley, Ford, and company.