The Kansas City Chiefs have made a surprise addition to their roster leading up another hopeful Super Bowl run in the coming weeks.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates on Thursday afternoon, the AFC West champions have re-signed veteran punter and three-time Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee Dustin Colquitt to their practice squad.
The Chiefs are signing P Dustin Colquitt to their practice squad, per source.
He spent the first 15 years of his career in KC and now returns for a playoff run. Always a beloved player.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 7, 2021
Kansas City Star beat writer Herbie Teope and others have since confirmed the initial report, as well.
I can confirm via source that the #Chiefs are signing P Dustin Colquitt to the practice squad.
A fan favorite returns.
— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) January 7, 2021
The addition of Colquitt was not listed on the NFL’s official transaction report for Thursday, January 7, meaning it should be reflected on Friday. The 16-year veteran will need to pass through the league’s COVID-19 protocols before formally joining the roster, but with the Chiefs enjoying the AFC’s lone first-round bye week, that shouldn’t pose much of an issue.
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Jaguars Waived Dustin Colquitt Earlier This Week
The 38-year-old, who spent the first 15 seasons of his professional career in Kansas City, had bounced around between the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers’ rosters since being released by the Chiefs last April.
Colquitt was most recently waived by the Jaguars on Tuesday after Jacksonville signed the veteran punter off of Tampa Bay’s practice squad on Christmas Eve.
In six games this season, including the first five to open the year in Pittsburgh, the former third-round pick has punted 26 times for an average of 43.6 yards per punt. Combined that would be the second-worst rate of his career, trailing only his rookie campaign when he averaged just 39.4 yards on 62 punts. For comparison’s sake, the Chiefs current punter Tommy Townsend has held his own as a rookie, managing 45.0 yards per punt on 52 regular season attempts.
Colquitt a Likely Insurance Plan, Albeit Sentimental
All things considered, Colquitt’s return to Kansas City is likely the beginning of a symbolic conclusion to his career at season’s end, rather than a potential takeover of Townsend’s job.
However, the Baltimore Ravens did poach Townsend’s brother, Johnny, off of the Chiefs practice squad just before the new year, leaving the team without an emergency specialist in case of a COVID-19 contact tracing issue or potential injury. Colquitt now fills that role, which special teams coordinator Dave Toub validated upon signing the elder Townsend before Thanksgiving.
“It was a really good idea by Brett Veach to bring a guy in — just in case the COVID thing hits us,” Toub told reporters on November 19, via Arrowhead Pride. “[If it] hits one of our guys, we have a guy that’s in the building — tested — that we can just plug in there and plug and play.”
Possible reasons the Chiefs have Dustin Colquitt on their practice:
1.) KC wants to help Colquitt retire a Chief and saw the opportunity to do so
2.) Townsend is potentially gonna be on the COVID list, Colquitt is insurance
3.) Toub thinks Townsend needs some veteran help
— Robert 'Blue Checkmark' Rimpson (@Rimpsanity) January 7, 2021
For now, Kansas City fans can cherish what could be Colquitt’s final NFL games, now rightfully in a Chiefs uniform after playing in a franchise-record 238 games for the team between 2005-2019.
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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!