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Chiefs make 5 roster moves before Sunday’s AFC Championship

Kansas City moves a player up from injured reserve and makes 4 practice squad transactions.

Los Angeles Rams v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

On Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs made five roster moves in advance of Sunday’s AFC Championship against the Cincinnati Bengals on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

As expected, the Chiefs have activated tight end Jody Fortson from the Reserve/Injured (injured reserve) list to the active roster. The team has also elevated two practice squad wide receivers to the active roster for Sunday’s game: Marcus Kemp and Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Both are likely to be used on special teams; Kemp is considered to be one of that unit’s best players.

The team has also released hybrid running back/wide receiver Jerrion Ealy from the practice squad, filling that spot with running back La’Mical Perine.

Fortson — along with running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire — were both designated to return from Reserve/Injured on January 17. That opened a 21-day window where they could both practice with the team and be activated to the roster. Fortson had been placed on the list with an elbow injury on December 23; Edwards-Helaire had been moved to injured reserve with a high ankle sprain on November 23.

Edwards-Helaire must now be activated to the roster before 3 p.m. on Tuesday, February 7. Otherwise, the running back will not be eligible to play again this season.

Fortson is taking the roster spot that was opened when the Chiefs waived defensive back (and special teams ace) Chris Lammons from the roster on Monday. Both Kemp and Smith-Marsette will automatically be returned to the practice squad after Sunday’s game.

Perine — a fourth-round pick (120th overall) for the New York Jets in 2020 — appeared in 14 games in 2020 and 2021, averaging 3.7 yards per attempt on 72 carries (and scoring two touchdowns) before finishing the 2021 season on injured reserve. Released by New York at 2022’s final cutdown, the 5-foot-11, 216-pound Florida product spent the rest of the 2022 season on the practice squads of the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins.

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