Speaking to reporters during his regular Wednesday press conference, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid announced a number of roster moves as the team prepares for its Week 12 home game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire — who suffered what was described as a high ankle sprain during Sunday’s 30-27 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers — has been placed on the Reserve/Injured (injured reserve) list. The running back will have to miss at least four games before he will be eligible to return.
According to Reid, practice-squad tight end Jordan Franks has also been placed on the Reserve/Injured list. The head coach said that Franks had broken his hand during a practice session.
Reid said that Edwards-Helaire’s roster spot will be filled by offensive tackle Lucas Niang, who has been on the Reserve/PUP (physically-unable-to-perform) list all year as he recovered from a patellar tendon injury he suffered at the end of the 2021 season. Niang had been designated to return on November 2, so Wednesday marked the end of the three-week period in which he was allowed to practice with the team. By the end of that period, Kansas City had to either activate Niang to the roster or keep him on the PUP list for the rest of the season.
Reid said that Niang has lost weight — and had been “working his tail off” during his recent practices. It is unknown how long it will be before Niang actually appears in a game. Speaking on Monday, Reid was fairly noncommittal.
“I’m not telling you he’d be the starter,” he said of Niang, “but I think he’s ready to get in — probably — [in] the two-deep. We’ll have to talk to [Niang], too.”
Filling Franks’ spot on the practice squad will be another tight end: Kendall Blanton. A Kansas City-area native, the 26-year-old Blanton is a product of the University of Missouri who spent the previous three seasons on the Rams’ practice squad. The Chiefs signed him to their practice unit at the beginning of the season — but three weeks later, the Rams poached him back. The Rams released Blanton earlier this week.
Reid also had another piece of welcome news: wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster — who has been in the league’s concussion protocol since the Week 10 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars — will return to the practice field on Wednesday.