UPDATE: September 1, 3:46 p.m. Arrowhead Time
And there’s the corresponding move (for now); safety Tyrann Mathieu has been placed on the Chiefs’ Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Chiefs say Marcus Kemp will be on Week 1 roster; what will be the corresponding move?
(Originally posted: Wednesday, September 1 at 3:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time)
The Kansas City Chiefs finalized their initial 53-man roster on Tuesday. Surprisingly enough, wide receiver Marcus Kemp — who played well during this training camp — did not make the team. But that shouldn’t last long, according to the man who would know: Chiefs general manager Brett Veach.
“He’ll be back. He’ll be back,” said Veach in a Zoom call with media members on Wednesday. “I would anticipate him being back on the active roster, and we’ll have a corresponding move at a certain time here. We have some different areas to do different things, but I’d expect it’s safe to say that Marcus Kemp’ll be back here and be ready to contribute — hopefully, Week 1.”
Kemp caught six passes for 87 yards and a touchdown during the Chiefs’ three preseason games.
But with the roster at 53, how does he fit?
Two currently-injured offensive linemen — Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Austin Blythe — made the initial roster. Duvernay-Tardif fractured his hand during training camp, and Blythe underwent sports hernia surgery.
If Kemp needed a spot, one might have thought that Duvernay-Tardif or Blythe might be added to the injured reserve list, from which they could return after three games of the regular season. But Veach explained that it would not be necessary with Duvernay-Tardif and Blythe’s expected returns to be before that three-week threshold.
“I think these guys are going to be good for Week 1,” said Veach. “The benefit is having 10 (O-linemen), and we have some flexibility, so you have guys that can line up and play center like (Nick) Allegretti and (Mike) Remmers, who can do both. (Andrew) Wylie can do a little guard, so we have some flexibility in regard to our active game-day roster, but I would anticipate both of these guys getting out there and practicing this week — maybe not so much Blythe, but I think Blythe may only be a week away. But I think LDT will get out there and do some stuff this week and test that hand, so I think both of these guys should be shorter than three weeks, which would make sense to practice and see how they feel and get with (vice president of sports and performance) Rick (Burkholder) and get with the coaches and make a decision based off of that.”
Could it be Gay to IR?
Which leads us to this question: is linebacker Willie Gay’s toe issue enough that he may be the one sent to three-week injured reserve? Chiefs head coach Andy Reid first spoke about Gay’s injury on Tuesday — and he said the team would use the next few days to figure out its severity.
When asked for an update on Gay, Veach deferred to Burkholder and Reid.
“I’d rather have Rick and coach (Andy Reid) talk about that,” said Veach. “There are some things we’re working through there. Coach (Reid), I’m sure, will have an update in the next 24 hours there. I don’t know if we have all the information — but yeah, it does factor into play in regard to... just making sure we’re not caught short-handed Week 1 and making sure we have depth at all these positions, and hopefully it works out, and we’re carrying extra at a certain position, but if not, we’re prepared.
“So, I’ll let coach and Rick handle that area, but again, all these things factor into play, and certainly, getting up to speed and deep at a position right off the bat in Week 1 is part of the process.”
If Gay can’t start next to Anthony Hitchens, the rest of the linebacker corps is made up of veteran Ben Niemann, rookie Nick Bolton, Darius Harris and Dorian O’Daniel. At this writing, Omari Cobb and newcomer Christian Rozeboom would be practice squad options.
The Chiefs’ hope is that good news on Gay means Kemp’s corresponding move comes elsewhere.