KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With two of their next three games scheduled to be against the high-scoring Denver Broncos, it's not a bad time for the Kansas City Chiefs to fortify themselves in the secondary. That's what they did Tuesday.
The Chiefs activated rookie defensive back Sanders Commings off the injured reserve list. Commings, a fifth-round draft pick from Georgia, broke his collarbone in the first training camp practice in July. The Chiefs released rookie safety Bradley McDougald to clear roster room.
Commings was pushing for playing time as an extra safety on passing downs before the injury. But he also played some at cornerback in college.
"All the indications are that he's made really nice strides for the last couple of weeks," general manager John Dorsey said. “He's physically held up. He's moved around athletically.
"It's the combination he gives to you in terms of being able to play safety, corner and special teams. He gives you a little bit more speed, gives you a little bit more length and size."
Don't underestimate how much the Chiefs value Commings for his size at 6-0 and 223 pounds. The Chiefs are deep in the secondary, with Sean Smith, Brandon Flowers and Marcus Cooper playing well at cornerback and Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis, Quintin Demps and Husain Abdullah at safety.
But the Chiefs have collected bigger defensive backs, Commings included, in anticipation of these two games against the Broncos, and perhaps a third in the playoffs. They signed the 6-3 Smith as a free agent and claimed the 6-2 Cooper off waivers.
The Broncos have a big collection of pass catchers that includes wide receivers Demaryius Thomas (6-3) and Eric Decker (6-3) and tight end Julius Thomas (6-5). Their leading wide receiver is 5-9 Wes Welker.
The Chiefs are capable of putting size in Smith and Cooper on Denver's outside receivers and will no doubt try to cover Welker with Flowers. Berry has done a nice job in coverage of the tight end this season, but at 6-0 and 211, he yields five inches and 39 pounds to Thomas.
So there's room in the Chiefs' secondary for another big body that day. Even though he hasn't played a game since Georgia's bowl game last season, don't discount the possibility it could be Commings.