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Chiefs remove Khalen Saunders from IR; waive Josh Gordon

The defensive tackle has been on the Reserve/Injured list in each of the last two seasons.

Kansas City Chiefs v Washington Football Team Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs wasted no time getting back to business in advance of Sunday’s AFC Championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium. On the day after a thrilling 42-36 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round, the team has made two personnel moves — as reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport.

One was to activate defensive tackle Khalen Saunders from the team’s Reserve/Injured list. ending an IR stint that began on November 30 following a knee injury. He had been designated to return to practice on January 4, opening a three-week window for the team to either activate him to the roster or return him to Reserve/Injured for the rest of the season.

Saunders also missed the first part of the 2020 season with an elbow injury — but by the time he returned to the roster in late October, Tershawn Wharton had played his way into the team’s regular rotation along the defensive interior. Except for the Week 17 game in which Kansas City’s starters rested, Saunders was inactive for the rest of 2020’s games.

To make room on the 53-man roster, the Chiefs waived wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was signed to the team after his league suspension was lifted early in September. Gordon played in 12 games this season — starting seven of them — but was targeted just 14 times, catching only five passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. He has been inactive for both of the team’s postseason games.

According to Pelissero, the team hopes that Gordon will clear waivers so that he may be re-signed to the practice squad.