July 24, 2014; St. Joseph, MO; Chiefs linebacker Joe Mays heads to the practice field during the first day of training camp. Credit: Matt Derrick, ChiefsSpin.com
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – To no surprise Tuesday afternoon, the Chiefs placed inside linebacker Joe Mays on injured reserve with a designation for return.
The transaction opened a roster spot for the Chiefs to officially announce the signing of free safety Kurt Coleman, whose agent, Blake Baratz, tweeted Coleman’s signing Tuesday morning.
Mays, who enters his seventh season, recently underwent surgery to repair ligament damage in his right wrist.
He projected as the starting left inside linebacker before suffering the wrist injury during the second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers.
According to NFL rules surrounding injured reserve with a designation for return, which went into effect during the 2012 season, a player must stay on the injured reserve list for eight weeks before being allowed to return. The player can start practicing after spending six weeks on injured reserve.
Kansas City used the injured reserve with designation for return on defensive back Sanders Commings in 2013.
The Chiefs were counting on the 29-year-old Mays after signing him to a two-year, $6 million deal in March as a replacement for Akeem Jordan. Mays offered a glimpse of his impact by recording four solo tackles and two sacks in limited preseason action.
The signing reunited Mays with coach Andy Reid, who used a 2008 sixth-round pick on Mays while serving as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Mays, a native of Chicago, initially spent two seasons with the Eagles (2008-09), and had stints with the Denver Broncos (2010-12) and the Houston Texans (2013).
The 5-11, 244-pound Mays has 194 career tackles (141 solo), 1 ½ sacks, six passes defensed and a forced fumble. He has appeared in 61 career games with 35 starts.
The Chiefs will likely start Josh Mauga in Mays’ place with the first-team defense.