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With release of DeAndre Washington, Chiefs down to three running backs

It’s unusual for the Chiefs to carry so few running backs on the team roster.

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

As the Kansas City Chiefs continue to whittle away at their roster ahead of Saturday’s 3 p.m. 53-man roster deadline, they informed former Las Vegas Raiders running back DeAndre Washington that he was being released.

When Washington was signed in early April — long before anyone knew the Chiefs would be drafting Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the 32nd pick of the NFL draft — he was seen as a player who would fit very well into Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s offensive scheme. And as a former Texas Tech teammate of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, it was believed he could help build team chemistry.

But now, Washington has been released. With the earlier release of Elijah McGuire, this leaves the team with just three running backs — Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson. That’s fewer than the Chiefs have historically tended to keep on their active roster; as we saw as recently as last season, NFL running backs frequently miss time with injuries.

Could this mean the Chiefs could be in the market for a veteran running back? As we noted in Saturday morning’s Arrowheadlines, some believe that recently-released Washington Football Team running back Adrian Peterson could be a fit for the Chiefs. On Saturday, the New England Patriots released running back Lamar Miller. Those are just two of the players the Chiefs could be considering.

But it’s also possible that the Chiefs intend to bring Washington back on the expanded practice squad. Under the 2020 coronavirus rules, they will be allowed to keep as many as six practice-squad players with any level of NFL experience — and on a week-by-week basis, protect four practice-squad players from being poached. It’s not hard to imagine the Chiefs could bolster their running back depth with such a move — provided that Washington isn’t quickly signed to another team’s active roster.


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