KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) After four preseason clunkers, the Kansas City Chiefs know things are about to get real.
General manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid were planning to meet Friday to discuss final roster cuts, which are due Saturday afternoon. Then, they get a chance to sign waived players on Sunday before starting preparations for their regular-season opener against Tennessee.
Dorsey and Reid have several difficult decisions to make.
They are enamored of all four quarterbacks on their roster, though Reid can’t recall ever keeping that many in Philadelphia. With suspensions and injuries at wide receiver, they could be keeping some around simply out of necessity. And with question marks along the offensive line and in the defensive backfield, they could be forced to scour the waiver wire.
”I really haven’t had time to meet with Dorse this morning,” said Reid, who instead spent Friday morning watching film of Thursday night’s preseason loss in Green Bay. ”We haven’t made any roster cuts or anything. The kids are coming in now to see the trainer, the ones that were banged up a little bit. Later in the day I’ll get with the coaches and Dorse and we’ll go over things.”
They might just start with their quarterbacks, where questions abound after starter Alex Smith. Chase Daniel is a reliable veteran, but he carries a large salary cap number. Tyler Bray and rookie Aaron Murray have both shown talent but are considered developmental players.
The Chiefs would love to get Bray or Murray through to the practice squad, but that would mean risking another team claiming one of them off waivers.
”I think the four of these kids, they’re good players,” Reid said. ”I don’t think we saw the best of them last night. We didn’t play the highest we can play at that position. But I think all four of them have talent.”
Smith got the night off in Green Bay, and Daniel was 4 of 7 for 34 yards in just a handful of plays. Bray wound up 8 of 15 for 116 yards with a touchdown and an interception while getting the majority of the action, and Murray was just 5 of 10 for 39 yards.
Perhaps they would have fared better with more weapons at wide receiver.
Dwayne Bowe is suspended for the season opener following his arrest last November, and Junior Hemingway has been dealing with a hip injury. A.J. Jenkins sustained a concussion during the game against the Packers, and Kyle Williams had to leave with a shoulder injury.
”We still have a lot of wide receivers, a lot great receivers that are going to go out there and make plays,” said De’Anthony Thomas, a rookie who played just as much running back as wide receiver during his college career at Oregon.
The Chiefs could be forced to turn to Frankie Hammond, who spent last season on the practice squad, and Albert Wilson, an undrafted free agent, just to have enough bodies for their opener.
”As a team, there’s a lot of room to improve,” Hammond said. ”Just trying to get better.”
On the offensive line, right tackle Donald Stephenson is suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. Left tackle Eric Fisher has also been dealing with an illness that kept him out of practice last week.
The Chiefs tried to add some depth this week by signing veteran guard Mike McGlynn, who spent time with Reid in Philadelphia, but they could still be shuffling spots early this week.
There are similar concerns in the secondary, where safety Eric Berry is expected to be ready for the Titans despite missing much of training camp with a lingering heel injury.
”It’s good to get the preseason over. Let’s get on with the regular season,” Reid said. ”I’m not much on predictions. We’re going to work hard and take it one play at a time and crank. We look forward to getting the season started.”
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