KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs will soon add to the offensive line with the anticipated activation of right tackle Donald Stephenson from the reserve/suspension list.
The move to bring back Stephenson could occur as early as Tuesday. But the Chiefs want to evaluate Stephenson before deciding to insert him in the starting lineup.
“We’ll see where he’s at physically,” coach Andy Reid said during Tuesday’s media conference call. “I think he’s probably in pretty good shape right now.”
The NFL suspended Stephenson the first four regular-season games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.
Veteran Ryan Harris has manned the right tackle position since Jeff Allen went down in Week 1 with an elbow injury. The Chiefs placed Allen on season-ending injured reserve on Sept. 12.
The Chiefs need to make a roster move to free space for Stephenson.
Running back Joe McKnight, who ruptured an Achilles tendon last week, is a candidate for injured reserve. But the Chiefs are in a holding pattern with the accommodating roster transaction.
“We haven’t done anything there yet,” Reid said. “Something is going to happen. I don’t know if it’s to Joe or who, but (general manager John) Dorse(y) is going to make a move here somewhere so we can add Donald Stephenson.”
[UPDATE: The Chiefs placed McKnight on injured reserve late Tuesday afternoon.]
The Chiefs came out of Monday night’s game with one injury of note.
Reid said wide receiver Donnie Avery has an abductor strain, but didn’t indicate if the injury would prevent Avery from participating in practice in the coming days.
“We’ll just see here how he does,” Reid said. “He’s pretty sore today.”
Avery had two catches for 46 yards Monday night before leaving the game in the second half. Reid said he’s comfortable with the wide receiver depth if Avery isn’t available for Week 5’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Chiefs head coach said running back Jamaal Charles is dealing with a sore ankle, but otherwise Charles is “doing OK.”
Charles returned to the field Monday after missing Week 3. He made an immediate impact totaling 108 yards (92 rushing) and three touchdowns (two receiving).
The Chiefs maintained the status quo on strong safety Eric Berry as he recovers from a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 2. Berry has missed two straight games.
“Right now he’s kind of in the same position he was last week,” Reid said. “He’s a tad better.”
Reid said rookie running back/wide receiver De’ Anthony Thomas is “feeling pretty good,” but didn’t commit to Thomas’ full status in the coming days.
“Right now I’m in that, ‘Let’s just see how we do in practice mode with some of these guys,” Reid said, “and we’ll go from there. He made it through last week OK and looks like he’s getting better. We’ll see how things work out tomorrow (Wednesday).”
Thomas practiced in a limited fashion for three days leading to Week 4’s game before being declared inactive Monday night. He has missed four straight games since injuring his hamstring on Sept. 3.