Our old pal Herbie Teope over at Chiefs Digest has a nice primer on the Kansas City Chiefs offseason. In his piece Herbie reminds us of a number of injured players the Chiefs will have coming back next year.
These players who ended the season on IR will play a role into the roster decisions this offseason. A reminder of those players....
RB Jamaal Charles: Duh. Everyone knows that Jamaal wasn't around last season. Because of the job Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware did and because the Chiefs won 11 games without him, there was some wondering if Jamaal would be back next season. GM John Dorsey indicated recently that he would so expect to have him in 2016.
G Ben Grubbs: I'm not sure what's up with him but if his neck is healthy he will join a competition at guard. A healthy Grubbs could help make up for the potential loss of Jeff Allen in free agency. Still, neck injuries are no joke. This is a big question mark but the Chiefs do have options at guard.
CB Phillip Gaines: This is a big one, too. Sean Smith is a free agent, which means Gaines could be forced into a starting role on the outside. Or the Chiefs could bring Smith back or go out and find another starter in free agency or the draft and Gaines could play the inside, which he did briefly last season before his ACL tear ended his season. Gaines figures into the plans somehow; what the Chiefs do to address cornerback determines his exact role.
LB Justin March: You may not know his name but March made a big impression during training camp last year. A knee injury ended his season before it was able to really get started but the Chiefs like him. He had first team reps at inside linebacker last season. He's an unknown as well but there is some promise here. I would plan on making room for him on your 53-man rosters, assuming he comes back from his injury healthy.
TE James O'Shaughnessy: He was the Chiefs third tight end early on last season before he went down with a season-ending injury. Since he left, Brian Parker assumed third tight end duties. Demetrius Harris and Travis Kelce each got contract extensions recently (one worth more than the other!) so expect them to remain the top two tight ends. I like Shag's potential receiving ability but the Chiefs also like Parker after having claimed him off waivers. This will be an interesting battle.
G Paul Fanaika: He's almost in the Grubbs category of I have no idea if he'll be on the team. The Chiefs did sign him to a three-year deal before an injury ended his season last season. The Chiefs have a number of options at guards although no clear favorites. Tackle is less certain with Donald Stephenson set for free agency. He should come back and compete but I'm not sure where he wins out.