With the Kansas City Chiefs backfield banged up heading into their Wild-Card matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, they are bringing back a familiar face to bolster the running back room.
The Chiefs signed running back Darwin Thompson to their practice squad on Friday, January 15, according to the NFL’s transaction report.
Thompson took to Twitter Friday evening to announce his reunion with Kansas City.
“What a vacation. I’m baKC,” he wrote.
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Thompson Entered NFL as Chiefs Draft Pick
Thompson was a sixth-round draft pick of the Chiefs in 2019. He spent the last two seasons in Kansas City as well as the 2021 preseason. He accumulated 333 total yards (225 rushing, 108 receiving) during his first two seasons in the NFL, per Pro Football Reference. During three games this past preseason, Thompson rushed 15 times for 72 yards while also collecting six passes for 25 yards.
However, due to the addition of Jerick McKinnon last offseason and the rise of Derrick Gore and Darrel Williams, the Chiefs had no room for Thompson on the 2021-22 regular-season roster.
Thompson was released by Kansas City when the team shaved its roster down to 53 players at the beginning of the regular season. Although he was offered a spot on the Chiefs’ practice squad at the beginning of September, he opted to join Tampa Bay’s practice squad instead, as the Kansas City Star’s Sam McDowell originally reported.
Thompson, 24, spent the entire regular season with the Buccaneers as an insurance policy for Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, and Giovani Bernard. However, the addition of veteran back Le’Veon Bell in December and the need for an open spot for Brown meant Thompson’s services were no longer needed on the practice squad.
Chiefs’ Backfield Banged Up
Second-year back Clyde Edwards-Helaire injured his shoulder during the Chiefs’ Week 16 victory over Pittsburgh and missed the final two regular-season games because of it. Darrel Williams injured his toe in the Chiefs’ win over the Denver Broncos in the regular-season finale, which forced him to sit the entire second half of the game.
Both players were on the field for Kansas City’s first practice leading up to the Chiefs-Steelers playoff game. However, Edwards-Helaire and Williams were limited in their first session of the week on Wednesday, January 12, according to the team’s injury report.
Despite getting back on the practice field on Wednesday, Edwards-Helaire did not participate in the team’s practices on Thursday and Friday. Head coach Andy Reid then announced on Friday that CEH would miss the team’s first playoff game. Williams will be active, but chances are his toe is still bothering him.
Although the Chiefs do have McKinnon and Gore as options in the backfield as well, the team does not currently have any running backs on their practice squad. So, adding Thompson resolves that issue. It also puts Thompson in line for a potential promotion to the 53-man roster on game day, whether it be for the Chiefs-Steelers game or other playoff games moving forward if CEH still isn’t healthy enough to play, and, of course, if Kansas City does advance in the postseason.
The Chiefs face the Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday Night Football on Sunday, January 16.