It’s now been over two months since the Kansas City Chiefs signed cornerback Morris Claiborne to the roster — and so far, all we’ve seen of him on the field is 26 snaps in the 19-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday: 22 on defense (16 of those on running plays) and four on special teams.
After being signed on August 9, the eighth-year veteran was with the team during the least few weeks of training camp — and then served a four-game NFL suspension to begin the season. During his suspension, he was allowed to be in the team’s facility and attend meetings but could not participate in practices.
So in advance of the Colts game — his first week of eligibility — it wasn’t certain that Claiborne would even be ready to play in the game.
“There’s a chance,” said head coach Andy Reid last week, speaking of Claiborne’s chance to play against the Colts. “We’ll just see. I’m going to check with the guys — check with his coaches — and just see how he is. But he practiced, and we’ll see how it goes once we get there.”
But Claiborne did end up playing — and said afterward that the plan was to put him in for a limited number of snaps.
“To my understanding, that is what the plan was,” he told the press on Sunday night. “I don’t believe that they were trying to allow me to get any more than 20 (plays), or something like that. The plan was to just come in, get a couple of series and just put something on film out there.”
On Thursday, however, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo indicated that Claiborne could finally see significant playing time against the Houston Texans on Sunday. When asked if Claiborne would get more snaps in the coming weeks, Spagnuolo was positive — but hedged a little, too.
“We’ll see,” he replied. “I would think that would be a safe statement. I mean that’s hopeful. Probably rotate all three of those guys through there would be the plan.”
While Spagnuolo’s words weren’t very specific, it looks like the Chiefs may intend to rotate Claiborne in with starters Bashaud Breeland and Charvarius Ward against the Texans.
For Chiefs fans who have been anxious to see what Claiborne can contribute to the team’s secondary, it will be a welcome sight.