The Kansas City Chiefs have made their cuts to get the roster down to 53 players.
To do so, they kept three quarterbacks, five running backs, six wide receivers, two tight ends, nine offensive linemen, six defensive linemen, nine linebackers, 10 defensive backs and three specialists.
The biggest surprise cut of the day was cornerback David Amerson, who the Chiefs signed this offseason to compete for a starting position. The Chiefs also opted for Matt McGloin over Chase Litton in that third cornerback role. Safety Ron Parker has reportedly returned to the team but is not listed on the initial 53-man roster.
Here is the Chiefs’ 53-man roster to begin 2018:
QB (3): Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne, Matt McGloin
The Chiefs opt to keep Matt McGloin over Chase Litton as their third quarterback after McGloin had a great showing in the Chiefs’ final preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. McGloin’s regular-season game experience—13 games and seven starts—likely tipped the scale for the Chiefs. Perhaps Andy Reid keeps Chase Litton on the team’s practice squad.
RB (5): Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware, Damien Williams, Darrel Williams, Anthony Sherman
The one real question mark in the running back position group was whether or not the Chiefs would keep undrafted rookie Darrel Williams. They liked what they saw in Williams enough to keep him on the 53-man roster.
WR (6): Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Chris Conley, Demarcus Robinson, De’Anthony Thomas, Marcus Kemp
The Chiefs held onto De’Anthony Thomas, who special teams coordinator and assistant head coach Dave Toub loves. Marcus Kemp gets the sixth spot, beating out former Chiefs fourth-rounder Jehu Chesson and Gehrig Dieter.
TE (2): Travis Kelce, Alex Ellis
Demetrius Harris is suspended for Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers, so he starts the season on the suspended list. We thought the Chiefs may keep an extra tight end because of the suspension, but it appears the Chiefs will forego that thought and keep just two tight ends for a week.
OL (9): Eric Fisher, Cam Erving, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Mitch Schwartz, Andrew Wylie, Bryan Witzmann, Jordan Devey, and Kahlil McKenzie
The Chiefs kept nine offensive linemen, and they must have felt like they needed to in order to protect long-term offensive line project Kahlil McKenzie. Putting McKenzie on the practice squad would have made him eligible to be signed by any other team. Andrew Wylie makes the team in the “Zach Fulton” honorary sixth-man position, with Witzmann and Devey providing more depth.
DL (6): Chris Jones, Allen Bailey, Xavier Williams, Jarvis Jenkins, Derrick Nnadi, Justin Hamilton
After a gritty preseason, Justin Hamilton cracks the Chiefs’ 53-man roster. He’s about the only surprise in this group.
LB (9): Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Breeland Speaks (outside), Reggie Ragland, Anthony Hitchens, Ben Niemann, Dorian O’ Daniel, Terrance Smith (inside)
After five years with the Chiefs, Frank Zombo was released, meaning the Chiefs must feel comfortable outside with what they have in Houston, Ford and the kids. Terrance Smith over Eligwe is a bit of a surprise, and good on Ben Niemann for making the team after a great showing this preseason. Niemann is your new No. 56.
DB (10): Kendall Fuller, Steve Nelson, Orlando Scandrick, Tremon Smith, Charvarius Ward (cornerbacks), Eric Berry, Armani Watts, Eric Murray, Jordan Lucas, Daniel Sorensen (safeties for now)
I anticipate there could be an upcoming roster move where Sorensen is put on Injured Reserve for Parker, but that remains to be seen. The Chiefs must not have liked Arrion Springs as much as we figured because they signed Scandrick and preferred to trade for Ward rather than giving Springs a shot.
Specialists (3): Harrison Butker, Dustin Colquitt, James Winchester
Reserve-Suspended List (1): TE Demetrius Harris
Injured Reserve (1): WR Byron Pringle