ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (WIBW) - The loudest cheers from a massive crowd at the first public practice of Chiefs training camp might not have been for reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes.
Instead, returning wide receiver Tyreek Hill could have gotten the loudest reception. After the NFL ruled it would not discipline the Pro Bowl wide receiver for child abuse allegations, the Chiefs made it clear he would be at training camp.
"With it happening in the offseason we were able to take the time for the NFL to conduct its investigation and for them to make a decision on his status," Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt said. "That allowed us to sit back and wait for that investigation to be closed. We were able to get some information from the league in terms of what they learned and that put us in a position where we could make the decision to have him back on the team.”
Hill was visibly amped to be back, dancing and playing to the crowd all day. Hunt said he recently met with the star wideout.
"I’m not going to get into the details of that conversation, but it was a very frank conversation," Hunt said. "Talking to him about his responsibility as he comes back to be a Kansas City Chief.”
His Chief teammates seemed to enjoy seeing the speedster back on the field, particularly the things only he can bring.
"Just the tough catches and the explosion he has after the catch, you can see that," Mahomes said. "I mean, that’s a big part of his game. The way he is able to break tackles, the way he is able to make people miss once he gets the ball in his hands.”
"He's an exceptional athlete," Tyrann Mathieu said. "We had our run test earlier and you could just tell he has a gift for running. So I'll be excited to see him throwing up the deuces this year. So I know he's going to make some big plays and I know he's going to be focused as well."
The other major return for this first practice was made by Chris Jones. Jones, who considered holding out from camp due to contract negotiations, reportedly got to camp right before the deadline on Friday and was also met with loud cheers on Saturday.
"Delighted to have Chris here," Hunt said. "He’s been such an important part of the team over the last three years. Obviously he had a breakout season last year. We’re glad that he made the decision to be here. I think it’s important for him to be here with the new defensive coaches, the new scheme, the new defensive players so that he can figure out his role in it.”
The Pro Bowler led the Chiefs with 15.5 sacks last season. Mathieu was aware of that, but maybe not fully ready for how big Jones is.
"He's big," Mathieu said. "I know I'm small, but he's large. So I think he'll help us. And obviously, just watching him last season, he's a Pro Bowl caliber player. I think the sky's the limit for him, like I said, a lot of respect for him, especially in our locker room just by him being here. He didn't have to come."