Kansas City Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz has back surgery, eyes healthy 2021 season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz said Wednesday on social media that he is hoping for a healthy 2021 season after undergoing surgery for a back injury that prematurely ended his season in 2020.

"I was hoping to recover enough during the season to get back on the field, especially for the playoffs and Super Bowl, but that never happened," Schwartz wrote on his Instagram account.

Schwartz also posted a photo of himself in a hospital gown, cap and face mask, smiling and with his thumb up, apparently awaiting the surgery.

"It's time to address the issue since it isn't going away on its own," he wrote. "The recovery process isn't too long, hence being able to wait until now to do it, otherwise I would have done this earlier."

Schwartz, a 2018 first-team All-Pro, had never missed a snap from the start of his career in 2012 with the Cleveland Browns until 2019, after he had joined the Chiefs. He also didn't miss a start in 2019.

But his streak of 134 consecutive regular-season starts ended this past season. He left the Chiefs' Week 6 game against the Buffalo Bills with a back injury and didn't return the rest of the season, not even to practice.

Schwartz, 31, indicated in the Instagram post that he was anticipating the start of a new streak next season.

"Looking forward to a healthy 2021!" he wrote.