Chiefs Set to Debut Promising Rookie After Injury News

Deneric Prince, Jerick McKinnon injury Chiefs elevations Packers

Getty Kansas City Chiefs running back Deneric Prince will most likely log his first NFL appearance against the Green Bay Packers.

The Kansas City Chiefs announced one practice squad elevation ahead of Week 13 against the Green Bay Packers, promoting undrafted rookie running back Deneric Prince on December 2.

The reason for this move was also revealed, as KC ruled out veteran RB Jerick McKinnon for the second straight game. Although McKinnon’s groin injury was no secret throughout the week, his status is somewhat unexpected considering head coach Andy Reid told reporters that the third-down back should be available on Friday.

Something must have changed on Saturday, however, as the Chiefs decided to pull McKinnon back for another week. Of course, that opens the door for Prince’s NFL debut with La’Mical Perine officially out of practice squad elevations for the remainder of the 2023 regular season.

Chiefs Fans Should Finally Get to See RB Deneric Prince Suit Up for NFL Action

Prince burst onto the scene this spring, mirroring 2022 seventh rounder Isiah Pacheco in his emergence. Initial expectations were that he’d make the Week 1 roster and perhaps, push Clyde Edwards-Helaire or McKinnon for snaps.

Unfortunately for the rookie, that didn’t end up happening as Prince fizzled a bit during the preseason.

In the end, he fell behind Edwards-Helaire, McKinnon and Perine on the depth chart, but was awarded a spot on the practice squad. Now fans will finally get to see Prince take the field in an outing that actually carries some importance.

It’s unclear how much usage the rookie will get in Week 13, but he’s a near-guarantee to be active considering the Chiefs only have two other running backs on the roster. This spring, Prince excelled as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, similar to McKinnon.

The issue was more so his vision and decision making as a runner, which needed some fine-tuning. We’ll see what the youngster’s learned over the past couple of months as he steps onto the scene in Green Bay.

Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney Should Play vs. Packers

In other news, Kadarius Toney was not ruled out at wide receiver, meaning the talented playmaker should return on Sunday Night Football. That’s helpful, considering the Chiefs lack of depth at the position.

They currently have Rashee RiceMarquez Valdes-ScantlingJustin WatsonSkyy Moore and Richie James alongside Toney with Mecole Hardman on the injured reserve.

Toney is coming off one of his more impactful outings of the year in Week 11. The wideout accumulated 84 all-purpose yards against the Philadelphia Eagles and was particularly helpful on punt returns.

He’ll look to build on that performance versus the Packers.

Chiefs Choose Deneric Prince Over RB Newcomer Keaontay Ingram

This should come as no surprise — he’s had two practices inside the offense — but the Chiefs also chose Prince over newcomer Keaontay Ingram.

The former Arizona Cardinals sixth rounder does have a lot more NFL experience than the UDFA, but he’ll need to get himself acclimated to the playbook before he’s elevated. That provides Prince with an opportunity but depending on how he does, it could be Ingram next time a situation like this arises.

The 31-year-old McKinnon has now missed two games this season, while Edwards-Helaire has missed one appearance of his own. Despite his offseason surgeries, Pacheco has been the healthiest of the bunch, suiting up for all 31 possible outings of his NFL career.

The latter should handle the bulk of the touches again in Week 13.

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