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Chiefs discuss potential of moving Chris Jones back to defensive tackle

Jones has missed the last two games with a wrist injury. Where will he play upon his potential return vs. Tennessee?

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NFL: JAN 19 AFC Championship - Titans at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This week, there were rumblings in Kansas City (and elsewhere) that the Kansas City Chiefs showed some interest in (now former) free-agent pass rusher Whitney Mercilus. Assuming there was interest there, Kansas City lost out on the Mercilus sweepstakes; he opted to join the Green Bay Packers after a mutual departure from the Houston Texans.

Interest for an available player along the EDGE could indicate a point about the Chiefs’ current defensive roster: that the team could be considering moving Jones back to defensive tackle.

Frank Clark is back in the lineup and second-year player Mike Danna has been a pleasant surprise. The Chiefs also have veteran Alex Okafor as an option — and eventually, rookie Joshua Kaindoh will return from the injured reserve. All the while, the Chiefs’ starters at tackle have been somewhat underwhelming.

Jones played the first four games in the new role before missing the Chiefs’ last two games due to a wrist injury. In the four games he played, he compiled eight quarterback pressures and 2.0 sacks — but according to Pro Football Focus, he did not grade out among the league’s top 40 EDGE players.

In 2020, PFF had graded Jones No. 2 among interior pass rushers, behind only Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Considering the Chiefs have made several defensive changes lately, could moving Jones be among them — if he returns to the lineup against the Tennessee Titans this Sunday?

“I’m not sure where we’ll be with that, yet,” said Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo on Thursday. “But he has been inside — most of it’s been third down and maybe some second-and-longs, so he hasn’t lost all the reps in there. What’s been hard is because of the injury, he hasn’t been out there doing either-or, so we’ll see where he’s at by the end of the week — but we like moving Chris around.

“Sometimes, that’s dictated by the down and distance and how the play’s going — the whole thing.”

At the very least, moving Jones seems to be in consideration — and a point to watch this week.

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