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Meet the Chiefs’ initial practice squad for the 2023 season

Some familiar faces are staying in Kansas City (for now)

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

As they prepare to host the Detroit Lions on September 7 to kick off the NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs have announced 16 players signed to their initial practice squad.

Practice squads were increased to 16 players during the pandemic, and that appears to be a permanent change. Teams can also sign six players with an unlimited number of accrued professional seasons.

Like last season, teams will be allowed to elevate up to two players to their gameday rosters (up to three times for an individual player in the regular season) without the risk of a waiver claim. Clubs retain the ability to protect up to four players from being signed to other 53-man rosters. The Chiefs have used this ability sparingly — generally when there have been multiple injuries in a position group.

Read on to find out more about these players — and why the Chiefs can actually have a 17th player on this year’s practice squad.

Ekow Boye-Doe • CB • 6-0 • 171 pounds

Boye-Doe joined the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in May after a successful minicamp tryout. The Kansas State product appeared in all three preseason games, totaling nine tackles.

Deon Bush • DB • 6-0 • 200 pounds

Bush joined the Chiefs for last season’s Super Bowl run after six seasons with the Chicago Bears. In 2022, the veteran totaled 317 special teams snaps for Kansas City.

Matt Bushman • TE • 6-5 • 245 pounds

Bushman returns to the Chiefs’ practice squad, where he ended last season after recovering from an injury sustained in the 2022 preseason. Bushman appeared in all three exhibitions this preseason.

Cole Christiansen • LB • 6-1 • 230 pounds

Christiansen was a member of the Chiefs’ practice squad last season, eventually appearing in the Week 6 loss to the Buffalo Bills where he totaled 18 special teams snaps. The Army product appeared in all three 2023 preseason games with the Chiefs, totaling 18 tackles. He reportedly suffered a rib injury Saturday against the Cleveland Browns.

Matt Dickerson • DT • 6-5 • 292 pounds

Dickerson has attended training camp with the Chiefs for the past two seasons. After being waived on last season’s cutdown day, he was claimed by the Atlanta Falcons, where he played in six games, registering 12 tackles and a quarterback hit. Dickerson rejoined the Chiefs in May and was listed on the active roster before being released Wednesday after Kansas City claimed cornerback Darius Rush on waivers.

Chuckwuebuka Godrick • T • 6-5 • 295 pounds

Hailing from Lagos, Nigeria, Godrick was assigned to the Chiefs in May through the NFL’s International Pathway Program. Despite never playing organized football, he played 40 snaps this preseason and appeared to hold his own against much more experienced players. As an assigned player through the program, the Chiefs will receive a practice squad exemption for Godrick — allowing them to sign a 17th player to the unit.

Truman Jones • DE • 6-4 • 250 pounds

After reportedly taking a top-30 visit with Kansas City in April, Jones joined the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent. The former Harvard pass rusher totaled four tackles and a pass defended this preseason.

Darian Kinnard • T • 6-5 • 322 pounds

The Chiefs’ fifth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft did not make the roster in his second season. Originally drafted as a tackle, Kinnard appeared to rotate at guard during training camp and the preseason. In his second preseason as a Chief, Kinnard played 117 offensive snaps.

Chris Oladokun • QB • 6-2 • 195 pounds

Oladokun, a 2022 seventh-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers out of South Dakota State, spent this offseason as the Chiefs’ fourth-string quarterback following a season on the practice squad. Appearing near the end of all three preseason games, Oladokun completed 16 of 26 pass attempts for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He added 37 yards on the ground on a pair of rush attempts.

La’Mical Perine • RB • 5-11 • 216 pounds

Perine appeared to have made a case for the 53-man roster with a spirited performance in the third exhibition against the Cleveland Browns, where he had both a 30-yard run and a hard-fought 20-yard touchdown reception. A fourth-round selection of the New York Jets in 2020, Perine has appeared in 14 career games, totaling 72 rush attempts for 263 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Cornell Powell • WR • 6-0 • 204 pounds

Powell has never seemed to get his career off the ground after joining Kansas City as a fifth-round pick in 2021. The longtime Clemson route-runner has only appeared in three career games, playing mostly special teams in his sparing action. Powell caught six passes this preseason, but may unfortunately be remembered for a dropped pass leading to a defensive touchdown against Cleveland.

Deneric Prince • RB • 6-0 • 216 pounds

Prince became a hot name early in this year’s Chiefs’ camp, appearing to have locked in a role as the team’s primary kick returner and making a case for a role on offense. The Tulsa product cooled, however, as camp went on and his performances in preseason games underwhelmed. Prince rushed 22 times for 79 yards and a touchdown.

Austin Reiter • C • 6-3 • 301 pounds

Reiter was the starting center as the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV to cap the 2019 season. After departing for the Miami Dolphins, the Chiefs brought him back last offseason, and Reiter spent 2022 on the Chiefs’ practice squad. He was elevated — but then listed as inactive — for all three postseason games. Reiter played 107 offensive snaps across Kansas City’s trio of 2023 exhibitions.

Danny Shelton • NT • 6-2 • 345 pounds

Shelton, selected in the first round by the Cleveland Browns in 2015, appeared to make a push to make the Chiefs’ 53-man roster this offseason after spending 2022 on the practice squad. Last season, he appeared in the Chiefs’ Week 15 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. This preseason, he totaled four tackles, including an 11-yard sack against the New Orleans Saints.

Keith Taylor • DB • 6-3 • 195 pounds

Selected by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 2021 Draft, Taylor has played in all 34 career games over his first two seasons. He is credited with 67 total tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. In both seasons in Carolina, Taylor’s snaps were split relatively evenly between defense and special teams.

Montrell Washington • WR • 5-10 • 170 pounds

A 2022 fifth-round selection of the Denver Broncos, Washington was waived during final cuts. The Samford product failed to carve a significant role on offense as a rookie — catching four passes for two yards while adding 30 yards on the ground on five rushes. The Chiefs likely covet his dependability on special teams, as he returned 32 punts and 18 kickoffs in his first season.

Chris Williams • DT • 6-3 • 302 pounds

Williams joined the Chiefs in May after being waived by the Indianapolis Colts — where he played in 13 games from 2021-22. This preseason, he made a pair of tackles and registered a quarterback hit.

While a larger practice squad and elevation rules have allowed for veteran depth and player development that was previously not possible, the unit’s primary purpose remains assembling scout teams that resemble upcoming opponents.

Players are added and dropped from the practice squad frequently as practice needs change. Even so, two initial members of the Chiefs’ 2022 practice squad will open the 2023 season on the active roster, offering hope that we may hear more from some of these players in the future.

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