Following Tuesday’s roster cutdown frenzy, NFL teams began creating their practice squads, which are a total of 16 players. For the Kansas City Chiefs, there was one player they wanted back but missed out on — running back, Darwin Thompson. To make matters worse, he signed with the Chiefs’ Super Bowl foe, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star.
As a 2019 sixth-round pick for Kansas City, Thompson has accumulated 333 total yards (225 rushing, 108 receiving) during his first two seasons in the NFL, per Pro Football Reference. During three games this preseason, Thompson rushed 15 times for 72 yards while also collecting six passes for 25 yards.
With Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams locked in as the top two running backs on the depth chart, and the rise of veteran running back Jerick McKinnon this summer, Thompson was on the roster bubble and found himself on the outside looking in when roster cuts began to happen earlier this week.
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Chiefs Did Get Another Coveted RB
Even though Kansas City did miss out on getting Thompson back, they were able to re-sign another running back — Derrick Gore. Fansided’s NFL National Reporter Matt Verderame reported Wednesday that the second-year back would be returning to the Chiefs via the practice squad.
After coming out of Louisiana-Monroe as an undrafted free agent in 2019, Gore played on the Los Angeles Chargers practice squad along with the Washington Football Team’s practice squad before joining Kansas City in February, per the Chiefs’ website.
After a rough outing during the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers in which Gore totaled eight yards (six rushing, two receiving), the second-year back took the reigns in the backfield for the remainder of the preseason. In three preseason games this summer, Thompson rushed 15 times for 72 yards while also reeling in six passes for 25 yards.
In Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals, Gore ran the ball eight times for 54 yards, which led the team. Then in the preseason finale against the Minnesota Vikings, Gore had 106 total yards (26 rushing, 80 receiving) and one receiving touchdown. He led all Chiefs pass-catchers in receiving yards that game.
Kemp On His Way Back?
One of the more surprising cuts from the roster this week was wide receiver, Marcus Kemp. As an undrafted free agent in 2017, Kemp has been around for the better part of four years in Kansas City via the practice squad. This preseason, he totaled six receptions for 87 yards.
The emergence of Daurice Fountain this summer had Kemp as an initial roster cut. However, general manager Brett Veach said Wednesday that Kemp will be back on the roster prior to the Chiefs’ Week 1 game against the Cleveland Browns.
“He’ll be back,” Veach said of Kemp, via Herbie Teope of the KC Star.
Chiefs’ 2021 Practice Squad
Below are the other players that have been signed to Kansas City’s practice squad, with the list being updated as news breaks about the reported signings. Each name is hyperlinked to the reporter/outlet that broke the news:
- DT Tyler Clark
- WR Gehrig Dieter
- CB DiCaprio Bootle
- LB Omari Cobb
- DB Zayne Anderson
- S Devon Key
- WR Maurice Ffrench
- QB Shane Buechele
- WR Cornell Powell
- C Darryl Williams
- DE Demone Harris
- DL Austin Edwards
- OT Prince Tega Wanogho
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