The Kansas City Chiefs shared some unfortunate news on September 27 via head coach Andy Reid. Backup offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho — who won the ever-important swing OT role behind Jawaan Taylor and Donovan Smith in 2023 — will be transferred to the injured reserve ahead of Week 4.
That means he’ll miss a minimum of four games, but based on Reid’s comments, it sounds like Wanogho could be out much longer than that. “Reid says [Wanogho] has a quad tear,” relayed A-to-Z Sports KC correspondent Charles Goldman. “Reid says we’ll see how it goes in his recovery. Won’t say if he’s out for the year. Adds they’re working on a plan at backup offensive tackle.”
Big Red also told reporters that defensive tackle Matt Dickerson and new lead returner Montrell Washington have been signed to the 53-man roster, officially. Taking their practice squad spots are two wide receivers: Daniel Arias and Chase Cota.
Chiefs’ Lucas Niang & Wanya Morris Are Next Men Up at Offensive Tackle After Prince Tega Wanogho Injury
KSHB41’s Nick Jacobs pointed out that Wanogho appeared to get injured chasing down a Chicago Bears’ interception in Week 3. In the end, his efforts prevented a touchdown — which was a true show of heart with the score already out of reach.
With Wanogho sidelined, the Chiefs will now rely on former draft picks Lucas Niang and Wanya Morris. The latter flashed as a rookie this summer but didn’t seem ready to step into the role during the preseason, while Niang has disappointed most of his Kansas City career.
Working his way back from injury in 2023, Niang has shown some signs that he can be the swing tackle that KC needs this year, but he’ll need to prove it on a more consistent basis when called upon. As of now, Taylor and Smith look to be a strong starting duo — outside of the “wild” penalty flags — with zero sacks allowed through three games according to Pro Football Focus.
Chiefs Sign Undrafted Rookie WR Daniel Arias to Fill Final Practice Squad Role
Looking at the other September 27 moves in more detail, Dickerson and Washington make perfect sense as the two promotions. Remember, the Chiefs had one open roster spot heading into Week 3 after wide receiver Richie James was placed on IR.
After his audition versus the Bears, Washington will officially take over that 53-man returner role. The former Denver Broncos draft pick might even factor in on offense at some point, according to Reid.
“We’re working him in there,” the Chiefs HC stated on Wednesday. “He’s getting practice reps… his main role is a returner, but he can do both.”
Dickerson was also a popular KC elevation over the first few weeks, so signing him to the active roster allows Kansas City to keep utilizing the backup defensive tackle should they need him. As for the WR additions, Cota’s signing was already revealed on September 26, and Heavy on Chiefs reporter Devon Clements wrote an in-depth breakdown of the transaction.
Arias is news, however. Goldman gave some background on the 2023 prospect: “An undrafted free agent out of Colorado, Daniel Arias spent the offseason with the Arizona Cardinals. The 6-foot-4 and 196-pound wideout made the initial 53-man roster in Arizona, but he was released in order to make room for a waiver claim.”
Pro Football Network scouting expert Tony Pauline described Arias as an “athletic receiver who displays flashes of next-level ability” on April 23 of this year.
Continuing: “Quick, sells routes, and adjusts to the errant throw. Doesn’t gather himself exiting breaks, loses little momentum running routes, and comes back to the ball. Uses his frame to shield away defenders, extends his hands, and makes the reception away from his frame.”
His major weaknesses were a lack of “elite speed” and marginal production at Colorado. “Arias possesses next-level size and pass-catching skill and enough speed to make an NFL roster,” Pauline concluded. “He’s flashed ability, but he’s shown little consistency or improvement in his game. Arius comes with a large upside and should be kept on a practice squad with the hopes of future development.”