The Chiefs have signed tight end Kendall Blanton to their practice squad, according to the NFL’s transaction wire on November 23.
Blanton a Hot Commodity Between Chiefs, Rams
Some members of Chiefs Kingdom might remember Blanton as a player Kansas City signed to its practice squad back in September and then had him poached by Los Angeles, who signed Blanton to its active roster on September 22.
Blanton’s stint with the Rams came to a halt on November 22 when Los Angeles cut him. Now, the Chiefs re-sign Blanton, who could potentially give them some intel regarding the Rams ahead of the Chiefs-Rams matchup on Sunday, November 27.
Blanton entered the NFL undrafted out of Missouri in 2019. He spent the first three seasons of his career as a practice squad journeyman with the Rams. During the 2021 season, Blanton was active for 11 games and caught four passes on seven targets for 37 yards for Los Angeles. Earlier this year, he was also active for the Rams’ Super Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Dave Toub Talks Punt Returner Options
Week 11 of the NFL regular season marked the first week in which Chiefs rookie receiver Skyy Moore was demoted from his punt returner duties in favor of Kadarius Toney. However, that plan came to a screeching halt when Toney (hamstring) was injured in the first half of Kansas City’s 30-27 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
With Toney not practicing on Wednesday, November 23, and a report surfacing that he could miss “some time,” there’s a chance Toney could miss the Chiefs’ Week 12 game against the Rams. That brings back into question who the primary punt returner will be for Kansas City for that game.
Speaking to the media on November 22, Chiefs special teams coordinator and assistant head coach, Dave Toub, detailed Kansas City’s options at punt returner when asked if rookie first-round pick Trent McDuffie is an option.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of thought. He’s a lot closer now than he would be – obviously – last week, with (Kadarius) Toney being banged up,” Toub said. “We’ll get him back in there at practice and get him ready to go. He’s not far off. I mean I think Skyy (Moore) is a guy that’s probably the next – obviously – he was the next guy in. So, he’ll be up and ready to roll this week, but we have other guys too. Justin Watson – he’s another guy that can do it.
“We feel comfortable with some of the guys we got, but (Trent) McDuffie is definitely one of them that we got to get him up to speed and ready to go. But he’s also a corner on punt returns. He’s now starting in there for us because I took (L’Jarius) Sneed off of that. Sneed was doing a great job for us. Now McDuffie is in there – he’s the starting corner, left corner, on punt returns. So, you take him out and use him at punt returner, you have to find somebody at corner. So right now, he’ll be that guy, but he’ll also be a backup punt returner.”