There’s been a lot of bad news for the Kansas City Chiefs in recent days. Going into Monday, the team had four players on its Reserve/COVID-19 list — three from the active roster and one from the practice squad. Three more active-roster players were added to the list on Monday — and then on Tuesday, the hammer fell: seven active-roster players (and two more from the practice squad) were added to the list.
Would there be more?
But on Wednesday morning, there was a report that no additional Kansas City players had tested positive for COVID. When he spoke to reporters during his usual Wednesday press briefing, head coach Andy Reid said he wasn’t aware of any other positive tests — although shortly after that, we received word that offensive lineman Mike Remmers was being moved from the team’s injured reserve list to the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The full list of 33 players on the COVID list, all for a positive test. The Chiefs had no active players added, though Mike Remmers (IR) was on the list. pic.twitter.com/EYzBELdz5v— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 22, 2021
Still, Reid did the best he could to put a brave face on the difficult circumstances.
“We’ve gone through this for two years now, so anything’s possible,” he noted. “We get it: the next guy’s got to be ready to go. They’ve given us opportunities to replace people with [additonal players on the] practice squad, elevations and this-and-that. We just go ‘next man up’ and roll — and hope those guys get better.”
But Reid wanted to point out that it’s also difficult for players who have suddenly found themselves on the team’s COVID list.
“I mean, it’s the same way on the other side with the fellas: they’ve got to stay prepared, too,” observed Reid. “They don’t know when they’ll test back in, so they’ve got to be ready to go that way, too. It’s a crazy thing that’s in motion — fluid, as you would say — so you’ve just got to hang with it and make sure everybody prepares themselves and is ready to play.”
Reporters had already observed that two of the team’s starters who went into last Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers on the COVID list — linebacker Willie Gay Jr. and wide receiver Josh Gordon — were on the field for Wednesday’s practice; Reid confirmed that they had cleared the protocols. He also confirmed that cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was back to practice.
“We’re glad that he’s back,” said Reid of his second-year cornerback, who has missed the last two games following the tragic death of his brother. ”L’Jarius has gone through a couple of rough weeks here. But he’s in a good place — and is ready to go. So that’s great. It’s great to get him back in. I think it’s good for our team. I also think it’s good for him just overall — to kind of keep his mind off the other thing. So we’ll be able to move forward there. Everybody’s fired up to have him back.”
Another player who has been missing for a while — defensive end Joshua Kaindoh, who has been on the team’s Reserve/Injured list with an ankle injury since October 5 — had also observed back on the practice field. Reid said that as of Wednesday, the fourth-round rookie has indeed been designated for a return to practice — which opens a three-week window for him to be activated to the roster — but wouldn’t go much beyond that.
“He’s made great progress, so we’re glad that he’s back and healthy — and going,” said Reid. “We’ll just see how things go here.”
Later in the day, friend-of-the-site Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest reported some other roster moves: the signing of former Missouri offensive tackle Paul Adams to the practice squad, along with placing protections on four practice-squad players: cornerback Dicaprio Bootle, tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart, wide receiver Cornell Powell and linebacker Elijah Sullivan. The latter move will keep those players from being signed before the team prepares to host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 16.
UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: According to the NFL transactions report, the Chiefs also re-signed wide receiver Dalton Shoen to their practice squad.
But that still leaves just 42 players on the active roster — plus 14 on the team’s practice squad.
“We’re OK,” insisted Reid. “Listen, we’ve got plenty of bodies — guys that want to play. That’s how nothing has really changed. We plug the next person in — and here we go. Kind of how we’re rolling right now.”