Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid announced Friday that fourth-year offensive lineman Austin Reiter will start at center against the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. It will be the second career start for the former seventh-round pick.
“(Brett) Veach called me Monday night,” Reiter said. “He had a quick conversation with me, said get ready to go.”
Reiter, 26, explained that once Mitch Morse entered the concussion protocol and Jordan Devey was starting, he began taking about five to eight practice reps at center with the first team each practice.
Once Devey was placed on injured reserve this week with a torn pec, the Chiefs decided Reiter was the next man up.
“I prepare every week like I’m going to play every snap except the first one,” Reiter said as the local media laughed. “This week, I get to play the first one—so that was just kind of the same preparation every week.”
I initially thought the Chiefs may plug in Cameron Erving at the center position given he spent time there this offseason, but the Chiefs opted to leave Erving at left guard and Andrew Wylie at right guard, where they worked all of last game. Erving has been the starter at left guard all season.
Reiter knows Erving well from their time spent together with the Cleveland Browns organization in 2016. They will play next to each other on Sunday.
“Cam’s an awesome guy,” Reiter said. “Great to play with, [he] really helped me when I got here. Also had Wylie for 10 weeks last year on our practice squad, and now we got Nate Orchard, so kind of like a little Browns reunion, but yeah, Cam’s been awesome. All the guys have been awesome, really helping me.”
Kansas City’s projected starting offensive line from left to right Sunday against the Denver Broncos will thus be Eric Fisher, Erving, Reiter, Wylie and Mitch Schwartz.