KANSAS CITY, Mo – An agonizing period of the NFL calendar for players and decision makers arrives in the next day, as the Chiefs must have the roster at the league-mandated 53-man roster by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
For the team’s part, coach Andy Reid indicated during a Friday afternoon media conference call the process to trim the roster from a current 75 players hasn’t started yet.
“I really haven’t had time to meet with (general manager John) Dorse(y) this morning,” Reid said. “I’ve got a chance to look at the tape, but not with Dorse(y) or (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder), so I don’t have much information on that end.
“We haven’t made any cuts or anything of that sort. The kids are coming in now to see the trainer, the ones that were banged up a little bit to see how they made it overnight here. And later in the day, I’ll get with the coaches and Dorse(y), and we’ll go over some things.”
Reid said the players are off the next two days before reporting Sunday for meetings.
The Chiefs will have a short practice Monday in preparation for the regular season opener against the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium on Sept. 7.
“The guys have done a good job working their tail off this training camp,” Reid said. “I’ve asked them to get off their feet, get their legs back the next couple of days and get ready to go.”
WIDE RECEIVER DEPTH
The Chiefs start the season with starting wide receiver Dwayne Bowe serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Still, Reid appears comfortable with the current depth heading into the final roster decision considering the Chiefs will have a roster exemption with Bowe’s suspension.
The Chiefs can choose among Donnie Avery, Frankie Hammond Jr., Mark Harrison, Junior Hemingway, A.J. Jenkins, Albert Wilson, Fred Williams and Kyle Williams.
Of course, Hemingway (hip), Jenkins (concussion) and Kyle Williams (shoulder) are dealing with injuries. Hemingway missed the past two preseason games, while Jenkins and Williams suffered their respective injuries Thursday night.
But Reid points to Jenkins as the potential key.
“If he’s healthy,” Reid said, “we’re OK number-wise. We get Junior back here, I believe. That’s what it looks like now, so that will help.”
Also assisting the Chiefs is Hammond’s emergence in training camp and preseason.
The second-year pro, who spent time on the 2013 practice squad, announced his arrival with consistent play and eventually started the third preseason game at the Z position, or flanker, in Bowe’s place.
“Between Frankie and Junior,” Reid said, “I feel pretty comfortable with it. You know how we do; we mix people all over the place.”
Veteran Ryan Succop and rookie Cairo Santos entered the final preseason game with the starting job on the line.
Both were a perfect 3-of-3 on field goal attempts in three previous preseason games, but Thursday night didn’t clear the air as to who has the edge.
“I had a chance for one 40 yarder with Succop,” Reid said, “Chose not to do it. Then I had a couple of chances with the little guy (Santos), I didn’t do it there either.”
Without any field goal attempts from the kickers in the preseason finale, the Chiefs may have to utilize another potential tiebreaker.
“I can probably tell you if you’re evaluating kickoffs,” Reid said, “Succop’s kickoff was better than the first one of Santos’. Santos’ second one was OK.”
PRACTICE SQUAD FLEXIBILITY
The Chiefs can set the practice squad starting at noon E.T. on Sunday, and will have two extra spots with the NFL’s recent expansion from eight players to 10 players.
And that aspect may very well into the team’s decision on who to waive with a view to hopefully signing the player(s) to the practice squad.
“As many guys as we can get,” Reid said, “we’re all-in. That’s a coaches’ perspective. I understand the monetary value of it and so on for the owners, but we appreciate it. And absolutely it gives us the flexibility.
The Chiefs are fully aware of what the practice squad can do for players, as wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr., free safety Malcolm Bronson and tight end Demetrius Harris developed on the 2013 practice squad.
All three players are in position to contribute for the 2014 regular season.
“The more guys you can keep on the practice squad and train,” Reid said, “The better off you are.”
NOTES: Reid said quarterback Tyler Bray suffered ankle and knee injuries Thursday night … Reid complimented offensive lineman Mike McGlynn, whom the team signed to a free-agent contract Wednesday … McGlynn, who played for Reid while with the Philadelphia Eagles (2008-10), started at left guard. “He played at the guard spot and did a good job,” Reid said.