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Chiefs activate Tyrann Mathieu to roster, make other moves

Kansas City’s star safety will be eligible to play against the Cleveland Browns in Sunday’s season opener.

Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

On Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs announced four roster moves. The one that will attract the most attention is that they have activated All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu to the roster.

Mathieu has been on the team’s Reserve/COVID list since September 1. He will now be eligible to play in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

But according to a report from NFL Network’s Mike Garafalo, whether Mathieu will actually play in Sunday’s game — and if so, how much — is open to question.

According to Garafalo, “it sounds like” the team intends to “monitor” the safety before making a decision about his playing time in the Week 1 game. Even if he has no aftereffects from exposure to the virus — it’s never been clear if he had any symptoms from it — he has not been on the practice field for 10 days. Even if he plays, he might not be at 100%.

But according to Chiefs coaches and players, Mathieu has continued to participate in classroom work virtually while he was in the COVID protocol, so he should at least be familiar with the team’s plans for Sunday’s game.

The Chiefs, in fact, have now announced that Mathieu is questionable for Sunday’s game.

Whether he plays or not, activating Mathieu brings the Chiefs’ roster back up to 53 players. After linebacker Willie Gay Jr. was placed on the Reserve/Injured list, the team never made a corresponding addition to the roster.

The Chiefs have elevated practice-squad defensive back Zayne Anderson to the active roster. As an elevated player, he will automatically return to the practice squad after Sunday’s game.

The team also released defensive back Shakur Brown from the practice squad, signing linebacker Elijah Sullivan to take his place. The San Francisco 49ers signed the former Kansas State linebacker as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft. The 49ers released him on September 7.

Via ESPN’s Adam Schefter, we have also learned that the Browns have elevated two of their practice-squad players for Sunday’s game.

Like Chiefs defensive back Anderson, Browns linebacker Elijah Lee and kicker Chris Naggar will automatically return to their practice squad after the game.