Kansas City Chiefs rookie offensive lineman Lucas Niang is opting out of the 2020 NFL season, according to a report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
#Chiefs rookie tackle Lucas Niang is opting out of the 2020 season, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 6, 2020
The Chiefs viewed the 21-year-old as a potential short-term and long-term solution along the line. Niang played tackle at TCU, but Chiefs general manager Brett Veach noted shortly after the draft that the team could opt to play him at guard as he works to becoming an NFL tackle.
“Ever since getting drafted and having that conversation at the combine, about me potentially moving to guard, I’ve been practicing both guard and tackle,” Niang explained back on July 25. “Trying to get comfortable, so I can be as versatile as possible to help my team out.”
Niang underwent surgery to repair a torn hip labrum back in October of 2019, and this seemed like it could be an unofficial redshirt year for Niang, anyway. The decision keeps Niang under team control a year longer.
The Chiefs have their tackle and center positions set with returners in left tackle Eric Fisher, right tackle Mitch Schwartz and center Austin Reiter. Recent signee Kelechi Osemele is likely to play left guard with a competition between veteran Mike Remmers, and younger options Andrew Wylie, Nick Allegretti and Martinas Rankin for the open right guard position.
With the decision, Niang becomes the third Chiefs player to opt out, joining right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and running back Damien Williams. He is the 61st player to opt out of the 2020 NFL season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Players have until 3 p.m. Arrowhead Time Thursday to make a decision to opt out of the season.