Chiefs Cut Former 2nd-Round Pick, 3 Others Prior to Divisional Round

Getty Green Bay Packers cornerback Josh Jackson.

With the Kansas City Chiefs‘ Divisional Round game against the Buffalo Bills looming, the defending AFC champions are freeing up some space on their practice squad.

The Chiefs have terminated the practice squad contracts of tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart, defensive end/outside linebacker Shilique Calhoun, defensive back Josh Jackson, and linebacker Elijah Sullivan, per the NFL’s transaction report on Tuesday, January 18.

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Chiefs Clearing Space for Potential Signings

On Monday, January 17, practice squad contracts expired for players on teams that have been eliminated from playoff contention. So, clearing up space on the practice squad gives Kansas City the opportunity to sign some of the players that have recently become free agents.

Some notable NFL players that were on a practice squad but are now free agents are running back Adrian Peterson, wide receivers Willie Snead and Tommylee Lewis, and defensive backs Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Brian Poole, Bradley McDougald, Damon Arnette, D.J. Swearinger, and D.J. Hayden, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.

Of the four players the Chiefs cut, two of them — Griffin-Stewart and Jackson — were active for at least one regular-season game this season. Jackson was active for two — Weeks 14 and 16 — and played in both, earning 35 total snaps. Griffin-Stewart was also active for two — Weeks 16 and 18 — but earned snaps in Week 16 only, and played just three snaps, per Pro Football Reference.

Chiefs Need 2 Wins to Make SBLVI

In order to make a third-straight Super Bowl appearance, the Chiefs need to win two more playoffs games. That means they need to beat the Bills in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

Kansas City played Buffalo already this season, which resulted in a 38-20 loss for the Chiefs on October 10.  In that game, Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes threw for 272 yards, two touchdowns, and also had two interceptions.

“Listen, [the Bills] got after us. So, we know it’s a great challenge and they’re a great team,” head coach Andy Reid explained during his press conference on Monday, January 17. “So, we’re going to go through the process of getting ourselves ready to play. We’ll take it day by day, and as coaches, we’ll try to get the players good stuff to work with, and I know the players and their attitude, they love that part of it, and they’ll work hard to better themselves so we can have a good game.”

Andy Reid: "That is the chocolate cake with the ultimate frosting" | Press Conference 1/17HC Andy Reid speaks with the media following the Chiefs Wild Card win over the Pittsburgh Steelers Subscribe for more videos! More Chiefs NFL action! #KansasCityChiefs #Chiefs #NFL Follow Our Social Media! Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

What can be taken away from the October 10 Chiefs-Bills matchup is that Kansas City was a very different football team back then. The Chiefs’ defense hadn’t turned things around yet, and the offense wasn’t comfortable with its new identity. But that’s not the case anymore, which was evident against Pittsburgh in the Wild-Card Round.

Against the Steelers, Mahomes set career-highs in completions (30) and yards (404) for a single postseason game, according to Pro Football Reference. He also threw five touchdowns, which ties his career-high in the playoffs through eight career games. Kansas City’s offense overall totaled 478 yards and turned the ball over just one time.

Buffalo beat the New England Patriots 47-17 on Wild-Card Weekend. Allen completed 21-of-25 pass attempts for 308 yards and five touchdowns. Buffalo’s offense averaged 8.9 yards per play,  and the defense gave up just 216 yards through the air and forced Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones into throwing two interceptions.

If the Chiefs beat the Bills, then they will advance to the AFC Championship Game and will face the winner of the Bengals/Titans game.

Kansas City will host Buffalo on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, January 23 at 5:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time.


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