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Chiefs begin closed practices with nearly every player available for work

The team is on the home stretch to the NFL’s final roster cutdown and the beginning of the 2020 season.

Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

With a (hopefully) one-of-a-kind training camp behind them, the Kansas City Chiefs began a series of closed practices on Monday, preparing to make their final decisions about the season’s opening roster — and then ramp up to the NFL season opener against the Houston Texans a week from Thursday at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs began their closed practices on a good note, with nearly every player available for some kind of practice work. Per The Athletic, recently-signed former Miami Dolphins center Daniel Kilgore was excused with a non-football injury and offensive lineman Martinas Rankin (currently the only player on the team’s offseason physically-unable-to-perform list) continued to rehab his knee. Everyone else was available for practice work.

NFL teams have until 3 p.m. (Arrowhead Time) on Saturday to get their roster down to 53 players. On Sunday, teams will be allowed to start stocking their practice squads from those who survive the waiver wire following Saturday’s final cutdown.

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) agreed upon by the league and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) in March, practice squads were already set to increase from 10 players to 12 in 2020. Under the temporary coronavirus modifications the NFL and NFLPA made to the CBA right before training camp began, teams will instead be allowed 16 practice squad players — and on a week-by-week basis, four of them may be protected from poaching by other teams.