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Chiefs sign former 49ers, Giants linebacker to practice squad

Justin Hilliard appeared in two New York games in 2021.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from friend-of-the-site Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest, the Kansas City Chiefs have signed former New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Justin Hilliard to their practice squad.

This comes after the team released hybrid running back/receiver Jerrion Ealy from the practice squad on Tuesday. Hilliard’s signing brings the unit back to its full complement of 16 players.

The 25-year-old linebacker first joined the 49ers as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State in 2021. After he failed to make the final roster, the New York Giants claimed him on waivers. He appeared in two Giants games last season, participating only on special teams. He was placed on New York’s Reserve/Injured (injured reserve) list in mid-October, where he finished the season.

In mid-June, the league issued Hilliard a two-game suspension for the use of a banned performance-enhancing substance.

“I have been informed by the NFL that I tested positive for a banned diuretic — Spironolactone (Canrenone),” Hilliard wrote. “After investigation, it became clear that I mistakenly took my partner’s prescription medication instead of my own anti-inflammatory prescription. I am well aware of the NFL’s zero-tolerance policy, and I take full responsibility for having a banned substance in my body.”

The Giants waived Hilliard in late July. His suspension was lifted from the NFL’s books after the second game of the 2022 season.

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