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Report: Jerick McKinnon returns to Chiefs on one-year deal

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs have decided to bring back running back Jerick McKinnon on a one-year contract, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

McKinnon, 30, first entered the NFL as a third-round pick made by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2014 NFL Draft. McKinnon spent four years in Minnesota before joining the San Francisco 49ers in 2018, but he missed the 2018 season after tearing his ACL in practice. Following a setback, McKinnon also missed the 2019 season.

The 5-foot-9, 205-pound running back returned to the field in 2020, appearing in all 16 games while starting four. He rushed 81 times for 319 yards and five touchdowns while catching 33 passes for 253 yards (and a score) through the air.

McKinnon appeared in 13 regular-season games for the Chiefs in 2021, compiling 25 touches for 169 yards and a touchdown. He bested those numbers as the Chiefs’ running back of choice during their three-game postseason run, during which he accumulated 48 touches for 315 yards and a score.

The addition of McKinnon makes for a rather crowded Chiefs running back room entering mandatory minicamp and training camp, considering that Kansas City is likely to keep six wide receivers, four tight ends and a fullback. That could mean three available running back spots up for grabs between McKinnon, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones, Derick Gore — and rookies Isiah Pacheco and Jerrion Ealy.

This past Thursday, Edwards-Helaire spoke about McKinnon’s impact in the running back room last year.

“Jet got drafted in [2014]... and I was in the eighth grade,” began Edwards-Healire, “and he’s still playing and he was able to play at a high level. You sit there, you look at that and you watch that, and it’s like, ‘How can I at some point get in that category?’ or ‘Can I be at that same plane or that same level when I’m that age or been in the league that many years?’”

McKinnon and his nine years of experience now return to Kansas City.

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