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Offensive lineman Martinas Rankin removed from Chiefs’ COVID list

The Chiefs return the former Houston Texan to the active roster for the second time in two weeks.

Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Kansas City Chiefs took offensive lineman Martinas Rankin off the team’s reserve/COVID list. No corresponding roster move has yet been made. The NFL has granted the Chiefs a roster exemption for Rankin — so for the moment, the team will have 54 players on the roster.

Rankin, 26, is a former third-round pick who was acquired from the Houston Texans last season in exchange for running back Carlos Hyde. He started five games for the Chiefs in 2019 but sustained a knee injury in the Week 10 game against the Tennessee Titans and went on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

Rankin was placed on the team’s physically unable to perform (PUP) list on July 31 but never returned from it before the season began — forcing the team to put him on reserve/PUP and miss at least six games. He returned to the active roster on November 10 — but less than a week later, Rankin, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz were placed on the team’s reserve/COVID list. Fisher and Schwartz were taken off the list on Saturday.

The Chiefs currently have no other players on the reserve/COVID list.

The team has struggled with offensive line depth throughout the season. Rankin’s return is a welcome development.