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2 Chiefs players firmly on the 2021 roster bubble

On Wednesday’s Out of Structure podcast, we talked about two players on the fringe of Kansas City’s active roster.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday’s mailbag edition of the Arrowhead Pride Out of Structure podcast, Matt Stagner and I had our latest edition of “Bubble Watch 2021.” This is when we talk about Kansas City Chiefs players who have little margin for error this offseason; they’ll need to prove their worth — or they may not make it to Week 1.

Last week, we discussed Khalen Saunders and Dorian O’Daniel. This week, we considered two other players:

Ron: BoPete Keyes

With last week’s signing of former first-round pick Mike Hughes, Keyes becomes a more prominent resident of the roster bubble. In recent years, the Chiefs have kept four or five cornerbacks on the Week 1 roster; they haven’t kept six since 2017. If they once again keep five corners, it’s hard to see Keyes beating out Hughes — or players like L’Jarius Sneed, Charvarius Ward, Rashad Fenton and Deandre Baker.

He should be a priority practice squad candidate because he played all of last season on the active roster, but that also means a team may pick him up. Either way, he may naturally be squeezed out of this cornerback room.

Stags: Antonio Callaway

We usually think of players being on the bubble as a negative thing — but players on a reserve/future deal are aspiring to be on the bubble because it means they have a chance of making it onto the roster.

In a lot of ways, Callaway feels like a long shot — but he has recently received a little bit of love from the Chiefs’ coaching staff. In the past, Callaway has had production with other teams — and in Ron’s current 53-man roster projection, the sixth wide receiver spot is available. Until proven otherwise, Callaway could be the front-runner for the position.

Ron has pointed out Callaway’s lack of special-teams experience — but that might not be an issue. Other receivers like Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle — and potentially rookie Cornell Powell — could make up for what Callaway doesn’t contribute in that phase of the game.

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