Chiefs Pushed to Swipe Player of Need From Bengals After Victory

Demetric Felton

Getty The Kansas City Chiefs could bring in Cincinnati Bengals running back Demetric Felton in order to restock their depth at the position.

The Kansas City Chiefs could rub some salt in the Cincinnati Bengals’ wounds after defeating them in Week 17 and eliminating the AFC rival from postseason contention.

With Jerick McKinnon on the injured reserve and Clyde Edwards-Helaire dealing with an illness, the Chiefs could use some extra running back depth behind Isiah Pacheco — who just worked his way back from shoulder surgery and a concussion.

Bleacher Report’s NFL Staff suggested stealing pass-catching RB Demetric Felton Jr. from the Bengals practice squad in order to help rectify this area of need on January 1. “Chiefs wide receivers have struggled throughout the season, and the passing game took another hit when Jerick McKinnon was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury,” they noted.

“McKinnon was the team’s best pass-catching back, and they will miss his receiving ability in the postseason,” B/R continued. “Demetric Felton played a wide receiver-running back hybrid role as a rookie in Cleveland but is now on the Bengals’ practice squad. He’d be worth a look in the McKinnon role given his after-the-catch explosiveness and receiving skills.”

Because Felton is not currently on an active roster, the Chiefs could swipe him away at any point by signing him to their official 53. Of course, they’d have to either release a player or place someone on the injured reserve to do so.

Can Demetric Felton Fill Jerick McKinnon Role?

A former sixth-round selection of the Cleveland Browns in 2021, Felton has had more success as a pass-catcher than a ball-carrier throughout his career.

He caught 18-of-21 targets as a rookie, accumulating 181 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Having said that, Felton only contributed 24 rushing yards that year and a total of 20 over his first three seasons.

That’s basically the exact role that McKinnon has played with the Chiefs in 2023 — rushing for 60 total yards on the ground. On the flip side, the veteran caught 25-of-32 targets for 192 yards and four touchdowns.

McKinnon has also regressed a good deal from 2022 to 2023, and he’ll turn 32 in May. If Kansas City decides to get younger at this third-down RB role over the offseason, why not give the 25-year-old Felton an early look at winning the job?

After all, the Chiefs have trusted RB reserves La’Mical Perine and Deneric Prince with just one carry and one target in a combined seven active appearances this year.

Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco’s Shoulder Is ‘Feeling Great’ After Bengals Win

Pacheco addressed the media after the Week 17 victory — a game in which the starting RB took all 18 hand-offs from Patrick Mahomes and ran for 130 yards and 7.2 yards per carry.

“I’m feeling great,” Pacheco told reporters regarding his shoulder. “Great training staff we have here. Thankful to them.”

“Everybody in [the training staff] taking care of me and making sure I can go full speed, 100%,” he went on. “Two weeks [out of] surgery is a little bit difficult — you don’t expect to play two weeks out of surgery — but me, my story was a little bit different.”

Speaking of Pacheco’s story, it’s been different since day one of his first OTAs. The seventh-round selection quickly overtook a former first rounder in Edwards-Helaire. Later, he retained the starting job in year two, proving he wasn’t a one-hit wonder.

Pacheco’s fight is what appears to separate him from other running backs. He never goes down easy in a game, and he tends to battle his way through injuries when they occur.

If Pacheco is able to run the ball for 65 yards or greater in Week 18, he’ll accomplish his first 1,000-yard season in the NFL.

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