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 (including fullback Anthony Sherman), five wide receivers, three tight ends, nine offensive linemen, 10 defensive linemen, six linebackers, nine defensive backs and three specialists.
The biggest surprise cut of the day was Jeff Allen, who the Chiefs brought back a little more than a week ago. The team might have come to that decision after landing Martinas Rankin — who provides offensive line depth — in the trade with Houston. Brett Veach mentioned in his post-cut conference call that because of the roster moves needed with the Henne situation (see below), Allen could be back.
Here is the Chiefs’ 53-man roster to begin 2019:
QB (3): Patrick Mahomes, Matt Moore, Chad Henne
This was to be expected. The Chiefs needed to keep Henne on the initial 53-man roster despite his ankle surgery so that they could bring him back later in the season. Henne will likely be headed to injured reserve in the coming days. Now that he is on the roster at the beginning of the season, he would be eligible to be one of two players the Chiefs could bring back from IR.
RB (4): Damien Williams, Darwin Thompson, Darrel Williams, Tremon Smith
As the preseason went on, it became obvious that Carlos Hyde was not going to make the Chiefs’ roster, so it was good for general manager Brett Veach to find a trade partner. Tremon Smith is a bit of a surprise. Usually when a team changes a player’s position, his chances of making the roster are slim. But for now, Dave Toub keeps his guy.
FB (1): Anthony Sherman
WR (5): Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle
The Chiefs opted to keep Byron Pringle over Cody Thompson, who is reportedly a candidate for the team’s practice squad. Jody Fortson, who became somewhat of a fan favorite after his big game in preseason Week 4, is another candidate for the practice squad. De’Anthony Thomas made the roster thanks to Uncle Dave Toub, who was his biggest advocate after Marcus Kemp’s season-ending ACL surgery, but he isn’t listed here as he is suspended for the time being.
TE (3): Travis Kelce, Blake Bell, Deon Yelder
Andy Reid loves carrying three tight ends, and he did so once again. In a surprise for the Chiefs, it sounded like Deon Yelder could be ready as early as Week 1 on Veach’s conference call.
OL (9): Eric Fisher, Andrew Wylie, Austin Reiter, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Mitchell Schwartz, Cameron Erving, Ryan Hunter, Nick Allegretti, Martinas Rankin
Like in the case of Allen, Kahlil McKenzie was a surprise cut. Seventh-round rookie Nick Allegretti made the team and profiles as a backup center for Austin Reiter with Jimmy Murray waived. The Chiefs have always liked Ryan Hunter, and he holds onto his spot on the roster. Martinas Rankin came to the Chiefs on Saturday afternoon in the trade with the Texans for Carlos Hyde.
DL (10): Frank Clark, Derrick Nnadi, Chris Jones, Alex Okafor, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Emmanuel Ogbah, Xavier Williams, Jeremiah Attaochu, Khalen Saunders, Joey Ivie
With Breeland Speaks added to injured reserve, his season is done. That opened up a spot for Jeremiah Attaochu, who may have made the roster thanks to his eight-tackle, two-sack effort in preseason game four. Joey Ivie beat out Justin Hamilton in a depth surprise along the defensive line. Saunders may have made the roster as a 2019 third-round pick, but based on preseason playing time, he might not be ready to contribute until later in the season or next year.
LB (6): Damien Wilson, Anthony Hitchens, Reggie Ragland, Darron Lee, Ben Niemann, Dorian O’Daniel
Pretty much as expected. Dorian O’Daniel was a slight question, as he took many of his reps in camp with the third team, but he meant enough for special teams to keep his spot on the 53.
DB (9): Kendall Fuller, Charvarius Ward, Bashaud Breeland, Rashad Fenton (cornerbacks), Tyrann Mathieu, Daniel Sorensen, Juan Thornhill, Armani Watts, Jordan Lucas (safeties)
In the eyes of the Chiefs, Herb Miller and D’Montre Wade just did not show enough to deserve a roster spot right now, but both are practice squad candidates. Rashad Fenton is Kendall Fuller’s backup in the slot. The Chiefs decided to keep all of their talented safeties for now.
K Harrison Butker, P Dustin Colquitt, LS James Winchester
Dustin Colquitt held off rookie Jack Fox for the starting punter position he has held for 14 years. Colquitt is still one of the league’s best punters, he is critical as a holder for Harrison Butker and it is too important a year for the Chiefs to take any risk on a rookie specialist.
Reserve-Suspended List (2): CB Morris Claiborne, WR De’Anthony Thomas
Morris Claiborne will be back Week 5 and De’Anthony Thomas will be back Week 2. While on the suspended list, neither player counts against the 53-man limit. So when their suspensions are over, the Chiefs will have to make a corresponding move to get them back on the field.
Injured reserve additions (2): WR Gehrig Dieter, DL Breeland Speaks
Both wide receiver Gehrig Dieter (back) and defensive lineman Breeland Speaks (knee) had high hopes entering 2019, but they will now set their sights on 2020. Since both Dieter and Speaks were placed on injured reserve before the cutdown deadline, their seasons are over.