Since returning from their first-round playoff bye week, the Kansas City Chiefs have been busy shuffling around their roster in preparation for Sunday’s AFC Divisional matchup versus the Cleveland Browns, as well as next season.
According to Chiefs Digest beat writer Matt Derrick on Wednesday night, the reigning Super Bowl champions will be making another addition in the coming days, this time planning to sign defensive end Austin Edwards to the practice squad. The Chiefs could make the move official as early as Thursday.
Correcting an earlier Tweet: Chiefs are planning to sign DL Austin Edwards to the practice squad. He finished the season on the Falcons practice squad, was lineman of the year at D-II Ferris State last year.
— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) January 14, 2021
Most recently a member of the Atlanta Falcons practice squad, Edwards became eligible to sign with another NFL club earlier this week after his contract expired.
Similar to WR Marcus Kemp and QB Jordan Ta’amu, who both officially rejoined the Chiefs practice squad on Tuesday before the latter was let go again on Wednesday, Edwards was one of seven players to work out for the team on Tuesday. Ta’amu, however, is still expected to be retained by the team on a reserve/future deal, per Derrick.
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Edwards Becomes Only the Fourth Defender on 16-Man Practice Squad
With the Chiefs practice squad currently at its full 16-man capacity, including five wide receivers, Kansas City will need part ways with at least one player to clear a spot for Edwards. On the surface, signing the 23-year-old makes sense given he’ll become just the second defensive lineman on the unit and fourth defender overall, joining DE Demone Harris, LB Omari Cobb and DB Rodney Clemons.
While Edwards only saw action in one regular season game for the Falcons in 2020 — playing six total snaps in a Week 7 loss to the Detroit Lions — the 6-foot-5, 280-pounder offers an intriguing background as an undrafted free agent out of Division II Ferris State. According to Chiefs Wire, Kansas City was already familiar with Edwards, having met with him at the East-West Shrine Game prior to last April’s NFL Draft.
Edwards Named D-II ‘Lineman of the Year’ in 2019
Most notably, Edwards’ on-field play was rewarded with the 2019 Gene Upshaw Award, recognizing the top NCAA Division II Defensive Lineman of the Year. During his final season anchoring the Bulldogs defense, Edwards notched 17.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks (19.0 combined in his final two seasons), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
That year he also became the first defensive player to win the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Player of the Year Award since 2005, according to Ferris State.
In a pre-draft interview with NFL Draft Diamonds, the Lansing, Michigan native credited his mother with being the biggest influence in his life.
“She came to America when she was 16 from Haiti by herself,” Edwards said. “She raised me and my brother and worked 2 jobs to survive. Her hard work is in me and her drive to survive is also. I want to be great at everything and I always thank her for that.”
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!