KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs entered preseason action with a battle at the long snapper position between James Winchester and rookie Andrew East.
The competition was tight since organized team activities, but the Chiefs settled on Winchester after waiving East on Saturday.
“I think what it came down to was just the velocity of Winchester,” coach Andy Reid said Sunday. “He was just a hair faster. They came out so equal, it was crazy. We would’ve been happy with either one of them.”
And the way Reid sees it, East shouldn’t be out of a job for long.
“I think both of them are going to snap in this league,” Reid said. “I think they’re both really good.”
The 6-3, 240-pound Winchester played collegiately at Oklahoma and has one year of NFL experience.
The Chiefs will enter the regular season with a new long snapper for the first time in seven seasons after not bringing back Thomas Gafford, who is now with the Chicago Bears.
Reid didn’t mention tight end Demetrius Harris when providing injury updates following the morning walkthrough session.
The reason for the omission was discovered when Harris took the practice field with his helmet in the afternoon.
A team spokesman offered official word on Harris’ status following practice by informing reporters the Chiefs activated Harris from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after the tight end passed a physical.
Harris’ return to the roster gives the team another experienced player to go along with Travis Kelce, rookie James O’Shaughnessy, Richard Gordon and Ryan Taylor at the tight end position. Adam Schiltz was waived Saturday.
Harris missed all of OTAs, mandatory minicamp, training camp and three preseason games after undergoing foot surgery in early May.
The procedure was on the same foot he fractured during pregame warm-ups in Week 10 of the 2014 season. He finished the year appearing in eight games with three starts, totaling three catches for 20 yards.
The Chiefs enter the final week of preseason and don’t expect to see too much time out of the starters Thursday night against the St. Louis Rams.
“If they get any,” Reid said, “it probably won’t be much.”
Reid said backup quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Aaron Murray would each get a half if starter Alex Smith doesn’t play.