All NFL teams were given a Tuesday, Aug. 23 deadline to cut their rosters down from 85 to 80 players. The Kansas City Chiefs’ time to beat was 3 p.m. local time on Tuesday to trim their 85-man group down by five, and they’ve reportedly completed the process on their final day to do so with minimal time to spare. They got started a day in advance, though.
On Monday, per Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star, Kansas City waived cornerback Brandin Dandridge, defensive back Nasir Greer and offensive lineman David Steinmetz on Monday.
Dandridge and Steinmetz played late in Saturday’s preseason game against the Washington Commanders and Greer did not play on defense.
The Chiefs’ defensive back group appears largely determined, even with a recent injury to cornerback Rashad Fenton. Alongside Fenton, rookie Trent McDuffie and third-year corner L’Jarius Sneed project to be KC’s top three corners, with rookies Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson next up. On Monday, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo made sure to mention Watson (a rookie seventh-round pick) alongside Williams (a rookie fourth-rounder) as major parts of the cornerback rotation.
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On Tuesday, Kansas City finalized its last two “cutdowns” but is keeping both players involved close. The team is placing running back Derrick Gore on injured reserve and moving offensive tackle Lucas Niang to the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
By going on injured reserve now, Gore’s 2022 season is over before it technically even begins. The 27-year-old halfback played in 11 games last season, recording 51 carries for 256 yards and hauling in eight passes for 105 yards. This move now leaves the Chiefs with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, rookie Isiah Pacheco and Ronald Jones atop their running back depth chart. Kansas City also has running backs Jerrion Ealy (RB/WR) and Tayon Fleet-Davis currently on the roster.
Niang has been on PUP for a while now, but he was on the active/PUP list throughout training camp. Designating him on reserve/PUP allows him to potentially return after four games. The 2020 third-round pick is set to enter his age-24 season but has played just 12 games across two years for the Chiefs. He opted out of the 2020 campaign (as allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic rule period) and was limited in 2021 before a torn patellar tendon ended his season in January. Niang will continue to work his way back from the injury while on reserve/PUP.
The Chiefs square off against the visiting Green Bay Packers on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night, then the hard work arrives for general manager Brett Veach and the rest of his front office. All 32 clubs have until next Tuesday, Aug. 30, to get their rosters down from 80 players to 53 players. Some of those who don’t make Kansas City’s final 53 could end up back on the practice squad, as the team is permitted to carry up to 16 players on it. Time will tell which training camp and preseason standouts end up making it through the final cut and into the regular season.