The Kansas City Chiefs have released their list of inactive players for Sunday night’s AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wide receiver Josh Gordon and cornerback Rashad Fenton (back) — along with running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (shoulder) — will miss the game. But running back Darrel Williams (toe), and practice-squad wideout Daurice Fountain will both be active for the game.
Here are the Chiefs’ inactives for tonight’s game against Pittsburgh:— Matt McMullen (@KCChiefs_Matt) January 16, 2022
QB Shane Buechele
WR Josh Gordon
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
CB Rashad Fenton
DE Joshua Kaindoh
OT Prince Tega Wanogho
RB Darwin Thompson
Quarterback Shane Buechele, tackle Prince Tega Wanogho, defensive end Joshua Kaindoh and running back Darwin Thompson were also declared inactive for the game. All should be considered healthy scratches.
With Fenton out, cornerback Deandre Baker will be active for the first time since the previous game against the Steelers in Week 16. Fenton had not been on any of this past week’s injury reports — but on Sunday afternoon, Kansas City added him to the report, listing him as questionable with a back injury.
Edwards-Healire had been listed as out in Friday’s final injury report — which also showed Williams as questionable for the matchup. In a surprise Saturday move, Kansas City had elevated Fountain and Thompson from the practice squad.
Fountain’s elevation was interpreted by many as a sign that wide receiver Tyreek Hill — who had been limited in Thursday’s practice with a heel injury but had practiced fully on Friday — wouldn’t be 100% for Sunday’s contest. While Hill might still be on a snap count, it now appears that the team has decided to have Fountain take over Gordon’s snaps in the offense.
This could finally be the end of the line for Gordon, who has played in 12 Kansas City games this season — starting seven of them — accumulating 26% of the offensive snaps in those games. In those 212 reps, the controversial wideout has had five catches (on 14 targets) for 32 yards and a touchdown.
Inactive for the first five games of the season, Fountain was waived and signed to the practice squad after Week 5. This is the third time that he’s been elevated for a game.
As elevated players, both Fountain and Thompson they will automatically be returned to the team’s practice squad after the game. In mid-December, the NFL and the NFL Players Association reached an agreement where there would be no individual limits on practice-squad elevations during the playoffs; both players could potentially be elevated for all remaining postseason games.
The Steelers have also released their list of inactives for the game. Running back Najee Harris (elbow) will be active for the game — and so will wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Steelers inactives for the wild-card game against the Chiefs: QB Dwayne Haskins, WR Cody White, RB Anthony McFarland, LB Tegray Scales and DT Carlos Davis.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) January 16, 2022
The Steelers had listed their starting running back as questionable on Friday’s injury report — but then on Saturday, he was removed from the final report. Also on Saturday, Pittsburgh activated Smith-Schuster from their Reserve/Injured list, where he had been since an early-season shoulder injury — one that had been thought to be season-ending. To make room fr the wideout, Pittsburgh waived punter Corliss Waitman. Rookie Pressley Harvin III will return to kicking punts for the Steelers.
The rest of Pittsburgh’s active roster practiced fully on Friday, so all of Sunday’s inactive players should be considered healthy scratches.