KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Tony Moeaki’s career in Kansas City has apparently come to an end.
The former third-round pick who dazzled during his rookie season but couldn’t stay on the field because of injuries was fittingly waived as an injured player on Saturday, part of a series of moves that the Chiefs used to reach the 53-man roster limit by the NFL’s deadline.
Moeaki fractured his shoulder in a preseason game against Pittsburgh.
He’ll end up on injured reserve along with offensive lineman Ricky Henry, who ruptured his bicep Thursday night against Green Bay, if Moeaki passes through waivers without being claimed.
“Well Chiefs Kingdom, it’s been a pleasure,” Moeaki tweeted. “Was starting to feel back to form. Bad timing for an inj. However…Challenge accepted.”
Moeaki has struggled with knee and shoulder injuries throughout his career.
The Chiefs had to clear 22 players to reach the roster maximum, which meant cutting 20 others by the deadline. Among those was running back Shaun Draughn, safety Tysyn Hartman and wide receivers Rico Richardson and Josh Bellamy, all of whom were in close competitions for jobs.
After those moves were complete, the Chiefs traded linebacker Edgar Jones to the Dallas Cowboys for an undisclosed draft pick, leaving them with an open roster spot.
“The men we let go today put in a substantial amount of work for our club and we are grateful for their efforts,” Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “We feel like we have a good foundation and we will continue to look to build our roster in the best interests of the team.”
Draughn was beaten out by second-year pro Cyrus Gray for the No. 3 running back job behind Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis. It may have come down to the Chiefs’ preseason finale against the Packers, too, when Gray carried 13 times for 72 yards as the starters and most of the second team sat.
Draughn ran for 233 yards and two touchdowns while appearing in all 16 games last season.
Richardson and Bellamy were in a tense competition for the past couple of wide receiver spots, but were beaten out by Devon Wylie — who hurt his hamstring against the Packers — and Junior Hemingway, the Chiefs’ former seventh-round pick who appeared in just one game last season.
Hemingway might have solidified his spot against the Packers, too. He hauled in seven catches for 80 yards and a touchdown, emerging as a viable option opposite Dwayne Bowe in the passing game.
Most of his targets in the game came from quarterback Tyler Bray, an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee who had won the No. 3 job earlier in camp. The Chiefs cut Ricky Stanzi during the first round of roster reductions, and it was unlikely they’d go into the season with just two quarterbacks.
Hartman, a former Kansas State star, was beaten out by another undrafted free agent in Bradley McDougald, and that one might sting for Wildcat fans still smarting from their loss Friday night to North Dakota State. McDougald went to school just down the road at Kansas.
The other players who were cut were defensive backs Malcolm Bronson, Greg Castillo, Kennard Cox and Semaj Moody; offensive linemen Matt Reynolds, Rokevious Watkins, Tommie Draheim and Steven Baker; defensive linemen Marcus Dixon, Austin Lane and Ridge Wilson; fullback Toben Opurum; wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr.; linebackers Darin Drakeford and Orie Lemon; and tight end Demetrius Harris.
Harris was an undrafted free agent who hadn’t played football since high school after playing basketball at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Chiefs will likely try to sign him to the practice squad.