Kansas City Chiefs rookie CB Trent McDuffie played the first full game of his NFL career in Week 9 against the Tennessee Titans. Returning from a hamstring injury suffered in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season, the first-round draft pick picked up right where he left off. He didn’t allow a single reception into his coverage and looked as advertised coming out of the 2022 NFL draft.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Chiefs HC Andy Reid offered up his evaluation of McDuffie’s performance. “Yeah, I thought he made some nice plays,” Reid said. “He was in good position. His ability to go up through the receiver, but not interfere with them I thought was big. (His ability to) get his hands on the ball, I thought that was good. And he tackled, so he was in position to tackle and he did a nice job there.”
For McDuffie, the Week 9 performance served as a jumping-off point for his return from injury. He said it helped him build confidence for the future. “I think, honestly, the big thing was just the confidence,” McDuffie told reporters on Wednesday. “Going back, you can’t really get a traditional game-like rep until you really do it. So, being able to go out here and play the full game, just being confident, knowing my teammates trust me now and being sharp with it was big for me.”
The rookie corner said he was working hard to get back on the field as fast as possible, but that the time he took allowed him to get 100% healthy. In being healthy, the next step was making sure that he was able to get out on the field and play at full speed without making any mistakes.
“I think, the big thing for me was going out there and making sure I just did my job correctly,” McDuffie said. “I haven’t been with the team, been with the lingo in actual game rep practices. So, just being able to go out there and be sharp with it, make all the correct calls, make sure everyone was correct with it for me was good because I haven’t had that.”
Ultimately, the rookie still has plenty he can work on as he strives for consistency in his young career. “On top of that, just little things I can learn from,” McDuffie said. “Little things on my technique, hand placement, things like that as a (defensive back), but I think overall is just being able to leave my all out there. I always said, I wanted to be that ‘flash’ player and play every play like it’s my last. Just being able to do that consistently for however many plays we do is going to be something I’m big at.”