Chiefs Sign Speedy Former Fifth-Round WR to Practice Squad

Ihmir Smith-Marsette

Getty The Kansas City Chiefs have signed former Minnesota Vikings draft pick Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

The Kansas City Chiefs have been shuffling players on and off the practice squad all season and earlier this week, they lost pass rusher Benton Whitley to the Minnesota Vikings’ active roster.

That created a vacancy and on October 21, general manager Brett Veach filled that open spot with a former fifth-round wide receiver that was actually drafted by the Vikings. Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest first reported the addition of Ihmir Smith-Marsette, but the move later showed up on the NFL transaction log.

Derrick noted that Smith-Marsette was indeed at practice on Friday.

Chiefs Sign WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette to Practice Squad

The No. 157 overall pick in 2021, Smith-Marsette was cut by Minnesota at the final cutdown in August. Before that, he served as a part-time kick returner and wideout for the Vikes last year.

Smith-Marsette caught five passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns during his rookie campaign. He also had a kick return average of 20.8 yards per return. He was then claimed off waivers by the Chicago Bears and former Veach disciple Ryan Poles, where he’s had less of an impact (one reception for 15 yards).

After six games with the Bears, the wide receiver/returner was waived on October 18. Kansas City signed Smith-Marsette to the practice squad after he cleared waivers.

The 23-year-old played college ball at Iowa and weighs in at six feet tall, 185 pounds. NFL draft expert Lance Zierlein described him in 2021:

“Thin-framed receiver whose value rests in his speed, gadget-package potential and kick-return talent. He’s an average route-runner and can be undone by physical coverage, which is likely to continue on the next level. His ball skills are below average on deep throws, but his ability to push the defense downfield should open up things for easy catches underneath. He’s a likely later-round candidate with potential to land a WR5 gig, thanks — in part — to his return value.”

Rookies Isiah Pacheco and Skyy Moore have been the only two players to return a kick for the Chiefs in 2022 — besides one outlier return by Michael Burton. Smith-Marsette provides another option for coordinator Dave Toub on the practice squad.

Final Injury Report for Chiefs-49ers

The Week 7 injury report is now live and cornerback Rashad Fenton will miss his second-straight outing with a hamstring injury. Rookie CB Trent McDuffie is also still questionable to return from the injured reserve and would have to be activated by 4 p.m. EST on October 22 in order to play on Sunday.

If McDuffie is deemed unable to return, rookie Joshua Williams would be in line for another start opposite Jaylen Watson. “Just have to keep working because it’s a game of details and inches,” Williams told Arrowhead Pride. “If you take one or two plays off, those are one or two scores. I’ve just got to keep getting better, finishing, executing. Get on my teammates, get on my coaches, getting in the playbook, and I think I’m going to be fine.”

On the bright side, safety Bryan Cook has been cleared after a concussion sidelined him last week and linebacker Willie Gay Jr. is expected to return in Week 7. Defensive end Mike Danna and guard Joe Thuney are officially labeled as questionable, although head coach Andy Reid made it sound like both would play against the San Francisco 49ers.

As for the Niners, a slew of veterans all came off the injury report today, including defensive end Nick Bosa, left tackle Trent Williams, and safety Jimmie Ward.

Key defensive lineman Arik Armstead (foot/ankle) will miss the Week 7 affair, however, a big loss for San Francisco, with safety Talanoa Hufanga (concussion) and ex-Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (groin) both labeled as questionable.

Following the blockbuster trade, running back Christian McCaffrey will be available to suit up for the 49ers. How many snaps he’ll get is anybody’s guess.

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