KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs signed veteran Jason Avant on Friday to help a beleaguered and injury-prone group of wide receivers, reuniting him with Andy Reid, his longtime coach in Philadelphia.
Kansas City cleared roster space by placing A.J. Jenkins on injured reserve.
Avant was drafted by the Eagles and spent his first eight seasons there – seven of them with Reid – before signing with Carolina in the offseason. He was the Panthers’ third receiver and caught 21 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown before getting released this week.
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Avant had criticized the Panthers for their offensive approach in last week’s loss to the Falcons, but coach Ron Rivera insisted that was not the reason for his release. Rivera said the Panthers were simply trying to get younger at wide receiver.
Avant’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, tweeted earlier Friday: ”Congrats to Jason Avant. Said he deserved a better place and he found one.”
The Chiefs (7-4) were desperate for help at wide receiver, where they have struggled with injuries. Donnie Avery has been out since late September after surgery for a sports hernia, while Jenkins has been out with a shoulder injury. He had just nine catches on the season.
The Chiefs, who lost Thursday night to previously winless Oakland, have yet to get a touchdown reception from a wide receiver this season. Dwayne Bowe is their leading receiver with 44 catches for 551 yards, but no other wide receiver has more than 14 catches this season.
Avant has caught 318 passes for 3,871 yards and 13 touchdowns over the course of his nine-year career. While the 31-year-old wide receiver may not give the Chiefs the deep threat they’ve been sorely lacking, his knowledge of Reid’s system should allow him to get up to speed quickly.
The Chiefs play AFC West-leading Denver on Nov. 30 at Arrowhead Stadium.