The scoop came from beat reporter Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest. He stated: “Former Chiefs WR Marcus Kemp is visiting KC, per source. Pending a physical, [the] Chiefs plan to sign him to their practice squad on Monday. Would provide depth with three receivers currently dealing with injuries.”
Today, that move became official after an even more shocking development. Kemp would be taking the practice squad spot of yet another KC suspension.
Chiefs RB Jerrion Ealy Hit With 6-Game Suspension
NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero was the first to report on the news. “Chiefs practice squad RB Jerrion Ealy has been suspended for the next six games,” he revealed.
After noting that Kemp would take Ealy’s practice squad role, Pelissero explained that the “six-game suspension is for violating the policy on performance-enhancing substances.”
Ealy has yet to appear in a regular-season game for the Chiefs but he was a popular undrafted prospect this summer because of his appeal as a kick returner and pass-catcher out of the backfield.
Arrowhead Pride contributor Talon Graff wrote a feature about him on June 28, describing him as a sort of dark horse candidate to make the roster.
“Ealy is talented in multiple facets of the game,” Graff detailed, “and we see him do what coaches love seeing. He does the little things right. On a third down-and-10, the quarterback checks it down to Ealy, who has some nice space to work in, and he gets north and runs behind his pads after securing the catch. He finishes the run with power and momentum and doesn’t waste any motion to get the offense the first down. These non-highlight plays are the ones that land people jobs. Ealy is a fighter, and he doesn’t go down easily… you can see the toughness Ealy runs with.”
Graff added later that “as fun as Ealy is to watch as a piece of the offense, his playmaking ability as a kick returner could be his ace in the hole. If he can carry over his success as a special teamer to the NFL, he could eventually land on the 53-man roster.”
Ealy accumulated over 2,700 scrimmage yards over three seasons at Ole Miss. Kansas City kept him on the practice squad for depth, but this suspension should stall any hopes of a rookie promotion in 2022.
Marcus Kemp Returns to Kansas City
Special teams coordinator Dave Toub most likely banged the drum to get Kemp back inside the organization. The former Chiefs UDFA logged 782 snaps in his unit from 2017 through 2021.
Toub made it a point to mention that Kansas City lost the majority of their core special teamers this offseason over the summer. Kemp’s return should help fill that void a bit, and don’t be surprised if he gets elevated on gameday a time or two in the coming weeks.
KC media member Charles Goldman of Chiefs Wire agreed with that sentiment, voicing: “I get the sense that this move is more about providing the team with another option to elevate from the practice squad who can contribute on special teams. They’re already running out of practice squad elevations for players like Elijah Lee and Dicaprio Bootle, who have both used two-of-three elevations. This gives them another multi-phase special teamer for Dave Toub to elevate on a weekly basis.”
As a wide receiver, Kemp recorded four catches for 42 yards and three first downs as a Chief. He can also serve as an emergency option that has worked with Patrick Mahomes and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy in years past.