Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Kyle Long returned to work on Tuesday, though he still remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list — according to the NFL’s transactions report.
Transaction Tuesday, #Chiefs edition (per NFL’s transaction report)— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) November 9, 2021
- OL Kyle Long (PUP) returns to practice, 21 days to activate
- C Darryl Williams back to practice squad
- TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart cut from practice squad
- #Chiefs protect DB Dicaprio Bootle, QB Shane Buechele
Per rules of the PUP list, Long returning to the club opens up a window in which he can practice. The Chiefs have three weeks to place him on the active roster, and if they do not, he must be waived — or return to the list for the rest of the season.
Long, 32, came back to the NFL after a year of retirement and signed with the Chiefs this offseason. He was thought to be the favorite to land the Chiefs’ right guard position before suffering a tibial plateau fracture during training camp. Kansas City placed him on the PUP list on July 27, meaning he would sit out at least the first six games of the season.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was recently asked about Long’s status.
“He’s another one that works like crazy,” said Reid. “We’re getting there, we’re getting close. He’s not in there not because of effort. He’s been working his tail off.”
The timing on Long makes sense, given recent injuries to veteran Mike Remmers (knee) and rookie Lucas Niang (ribs). The Chiefs turned to Andrew Wylie at right tackle on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers when Niang had to leave the game early.
Long has spent most of his career at right guard, though he went to the Pro Bowl in 2015 when he spent the season as a right tackle, so that is an option for the Chiefs. Long went to the 2013-14 Pro Bowls and was named a second-team All-Pro in 2014 as a right guard, but the Chiefs currently have a sure starter there in rookie Trey Smith.
A couple practice squad notes
Also on Tuesday, the Chiefs signed offensive lineman Darryl Williams back to their practice squad, cutting tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart, who had joined the team last week.
The Chiefs protected practice squad quarterback Shane Buechele and defensive back Dicaprio Bootle, blocking any other team from signing them before Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders.