The Kansas City Chiefs are dipping into the practice squad for help at wide receiver with both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman out against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football.
According to the league’s transactions report, the Chiefs will elevate key special teamer Marcus Kemp and second-year receiver Cornell Powell. Both will revert back to the practice squad on Monday.
Kemp’s practice-squad elevation is his third and final call-up after he registered six offensive and 21 special-teams snaps in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers and 24 special-teams snaps in Week 9 against the Tennessee Titans. Head coach Andy Reid suggested the Chiefs would call up Kemp earlier this week, and he could be a role player on offense while helping to fill in at the gunner position with cornerback Chris Lammons also sidelined.
If he is active for the game, Powell will make his regular-season debut. The Chiefs selected the 25-year-old in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and though he did not make the 53-man roster, he stayed with the team on the practice squad. Powell remained with the club and looked much improved in 2022’s training camp before he missed the initial roster again.
Considering the Chiefs brought in Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Watson and Skyy Moore this offseason, it may have been a numbers game more than anything else. Now, due to injury, Powell may finally get his opportunity.
Sunday’s wide receiver room will consist of Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Watson, Moore, Kemp and Powell.