Fan-Favorite Chiefs RB’s Season Over Due to Injury: Report

Getty Running back Derrick Gore of the Kansas City Chiefs carries the ball as defensive end Kenny Willekes of the Minnesota Vikings defends during the preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium on August 27, 2021.

The Kansas City Chiefs made two transactions on Tuesday, August 23. They placed running back Derrick Gore (thumb) on injured reserve, and placed offensive tackle Lucas Niang (knee) on the reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, according to Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star.

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Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said during his press conference on Tuesday that Gore broke his thumb during the team’s Week 2 preseason win over the Washington Commanders, which foreshadowed him being sidelined for an extended period of time. Gore being placed on injured reserve prior to the regular season means he has to miss the entirety of the 2022 season.

Niang had been on the active/PUP list since the beginning of training camp. Being placed on the reserve/PUP list means Niang will miss the first four weeks of the regular season before he is eligible to be activated.

Per league rules, all NFL teams were required to shave their rosters down to 80 players prior to the 4 p.m. Eastern Time deadline on Tuesday. The Chiefs are now down to 80 players on their roster after placing Gore on IR and Niang on the reserve/PUP list.

Twitter Reacts to Gore Injury News

Twitter users reacted to Gore’s season officially coming to an end.

“With Derrick Gore headed to IR, Ronald Jones’ chances of making the roster have risen a bit,” Connor Christopherson of Arrowhead Report wrote. “The Chiefs could have deployed three RBs + Gore on Prac. Squad to have four RBs. Unless Chiefs are confident in Fleet-Davis as RB4…Jones might be it. Up to him to finish strong.”

“Tragic that we will never get to see the Derrick Gore 1K rushing yards season,” another user wrote. “Zach Pascal will make it up with a 50-500-5 Season.”

Chiefs Lose Waiver Claim for Missouri Native

The Chiefs lost their waiver claim over the weekend for a player with local ties.

The player was tight end Kendall Blanton, who was claimed by the Washington Commanders, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. The Commanders have a higher waiver priority than the Chiefs, which is why they won the claim for Blanton.

Some within Chiefs Kingdom might know Blanton because of his connection to the state of Missouri. He played high school football at Blue Springs South and played college football at Missouri.

During his senior at Missouri in 2018, Blanton recorded 22 catches for 77 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, according to Sports Reference. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and joined the Los Angeles Rams practice squad that year. Blanton was active for one game during the 2019 season.

Blanton was waived by Los Angeles in September of 2020 but re-joined the team in September of 2021 as a practice squad player. He did, however, play in 11 games last season for the reigning Super Bowl champions, per Pro Football Reference.

Kansas City putting a claim in for Blanton was initially confusing, as they have six tight ends on the roster (Travis Kelce, Noah Gray, Blake Bell, Jody Fortson, Jordan Franks, and Matt Bushman). However, the attempt to claim Blanton made much more sense once Andy Reid revealed on Tuesday that Bell had undergone surgery recently for his hip flexor injury that he suffered in the preseason opener.


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