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Chiefs-Steelers inactives: with 8 players out for COVID, a short list

We have the inactives lists for Sunday’s game between Kansas City and Pittsburgh.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have released their list of inactive players for Sunday’s Week 16 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In all, five players who would normally be on Kansas City’s active roster are unable to play because they are on the Reserve/COVID list: cornerback Rashad Fenton, placekicker Harrison Butker, punter Tommy Townsend, safety Armani Watts and reserve offensive lineman Kyle Long. But since they are not on the active roster, they don’t appear on the inactives list.

There had been expectations that three other players previously on the Reserve/COVID list would play against the Steelers: tight end Travis Kelce, linebacker Nick Bolton and right tackle Lucas Niang. On Saturday, all three were activated to the roster in the hope they would clear the league’s COVID protocol before kickoff — but on Sunday morning, the team announced that all three were out for the game. So they are listed as inactive for this game — and on Monday (provided that none of them finally test out of COVID protocols) they will all be returned to the Reserve/COVID list.

That leaves quarterback Shane Buechele as the only other inactive player.

To help make up for their long list of missing players, Kansas City has given four practice-squad players single-game elevations to the active roster: defensive back Dicaprio Bootle, tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart, defensive back Josh Jackson and punter Johnny Townsend. All are dressed for the game — and as elevated players, each will automatically be returned to the practice squad on Monday. All four roster moves were designated as COVID elevations — meaning that none of them will count against the regular-season limit of two elevations per player.

Per Steelers.com, the Steelers have also released their list of inactives for the game, including tight end Pat Freiermuth (concussion), defensive lineman Chris Wormley (groin) and linebacker Buddy Johnson (foot).

  • QB Dwayne Haskins
  • P Pressley Harvin
  • P Cameron Nizialek
  • LB Buddy Johnson
  • TE Pat Freiermuth
  • DE Chris Wormley

Freiermuth, Wormley and Johnson had all been listed as out in Friday’s final injury report. The rest of the Pittsburgh inactives should be considered healthy scratches.

The team has signed punter Corliss Waitman to the 53-man roster.

On Saturday, Pittsburgh gave single-game practice squad elevations to tackle Rashaad Coward, running back Trey Edmunds, punter Cameron Nizialek and defensive end John Simon. All except Nizialek will dress against the Chiefs.

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