Veteran running back Jerick McKinnon has decided to run it back with the Kansas City Chiefs.
McKinnon has signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
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After a strong 2017 campaign in Minnesota in which McKinnon accumulated 991 yards from scrimmage as a change-of-pace back, he signed a four-year, $30 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers in March of 2018, per Pro Football Reference.
Several injuries forced McKinnon to be sidelined from September of 2018 until 2020, which is when he played his final season with the 49ers. That season, he registered 572 yards from scrimmage and six total touchdowns.
The Chiefs first united with McKinnon in 2021, when Kansas City signed him to a one-year deal on May 1. He didn’t see much action during the first month of the 2021 season but saw an increased role when Clyde Edwards-Helaire landed on injured reserve in October. He finished the regular season with 169 yards from scrimmage and 1 receiving touchdown in 13 games played.
McKinnon Led Chiefs Backfield During Playoff Run
McKinnon’s role further increased during the playoffs, when he accumulated 150 rushing yards on 34 rushing attempts (4.4 yards per carry) and caught 14 passes on 17 targets for 165 receiving yards in three games for Kansas City.
His best game during the playoff run was during the Wild Card Round against the Pittsburgh Steelers when McKinnon caught six passes on six targets for 81 yards and 1 receiving touchdown and added another 61 rushing yards on 12 rushing attempts.
McKinnon, 30, re-joins a Kansas City backfield in 2022 that includes Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones II, Derrick Gore, Isiah Pacheco, and Tayon Fleet-Davis.
The presence of CEH and Gore on the roster, bundled with the additions of Jones, Pacheco, and Fleet-Davis this offseason makes McKinnon’s role for the Chiefs offense moving forward murky. That’s mainly because he will have to compete for a spot on the roster this summer before he can even try to earn a role offensively come the regular season.
However, in the event that he does manage to make Kansas City’s 53-man roster, McKinnon will likely slot into a role similar to what he had early in the 2021 season: a receiving back with a very limited workload.
Twitter Reacts to McKinnon Re-Joining Chiefs
Twitter users reacted to McKinnon running it back with Kansas City on a one-year deal.
“How are we keeping all of the talent we have found? lol .. They need to raise the active roster to 60,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Too many RB’s on a team that doesn’t run …. but I did like JM last year,” another user wrote.
“Just googled yesterday to see if he was back. He could be great if he can stay healthy,” another user wrote.
“This doesn’t really make sense. So he’s 3rd behind Jones and CEH. Drafted a guy, signed high rated UFA. And still have Gore,” another user wrote.
“Very happy about this. He’s a stud. Thought he had signed elsewhere. Big relief,” another user wrote.
“I was impressed by him. For a guy not real big, he is tough…and fast. Great outlet for Patrick,” another user wrote.
“I’m happy about that. Isiah Pacheco probably isn’t…” another user wrote.
“Id say more so Derrick Gore isn’t happy… luckily I don’t think either get poached if put on the practice squad,” another user wrote.