My projections for the Kansas City Chiefs' 53-player regular-season roster:
Since Bray, who is recovering from a torn ACL, has yet to practice at training camp, there’s little intrigue here.
This is another position group where the decisions appear set. West played well enough at training camp and in last week’s preseason game against Arizona to validate the Chiefs’ decision to release Cyrus Gray.
Wide receiver (6): Jeremy Maclin, Albert Wilson, Jason Avant, De'Anthony Thomas, Chris Conley, Frankie Hammond Jr. Released or injured list (8): Da'Ron Brown, Kenny Cook, Adam Drake, Junior Hemingway, Donatella Luckett, Jeret Smith, L'Damian Washington, Fred Williams.
While the Chiefs don’t have much in the way of star quality here except for Maclin, they do have a few young receivers with ability and the decisions about which ones to hang on to don’t look easy. Brown and Williams have played well at training camp, but I’m going with Hammond because of his ability as a return specialist. It would also be difficult for the Chiefs to keep two rookies in Conley and Brown.
Harris, who had a second surgery in May for a broken foot, still hasn't practiced. His return might not be far off but it’s difficult to predict he can be a contributor when he hasn’t played or practiced since breaking the foot in November.
Offensive line (9): Eric Fisher, Ben Grubbs, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Jeff Allen, Donald Stephenson, Paul Fanaika, Eric Kush, Zach Fulton. Released (7): Anthony Dima, Garrett Frye, Daniel Munyer, Jarrod Pughsley, Marcus Reed, Tavon Rooks, Derek Sherrod.
I’m assuming here that the injuries to Fisher and Allen won’t keep them out for a long period of time. If either one isn’t ready for the regular season, the Chiefs will have to make some adjustments. Pughsley would be the next tackle to make it. Sherrod could be another option.
The big issue here is whether the Chiefs keep Poe, who recently has surgery to remove a herniated disk from his back, on the active roster. He hasn’t practiced yet and it’s unlikely he will any time soon. If the Chiefs put him on an injured list, they’ll need to keep another lineman, and Martin could be the one.
Linebacker (9): Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Josh Mauga, Dee Ford, Josh Martin, Dezman Moses, Ramik Wilson, Frank Zombo. Released or injured list (3): D.J. Alexander, James-Michael Johnson, Justin March.
The Chiefs might want to keep March, an undrafted rookie who has played well in camp and in the preseason opener, and Alexander, their fifth-round pick. Each is injured and didn’t practice Monday. If those injuries keep them out for awhile it complicates their chances of making it.
Defensive back (10): Ron Parker, Husain Abdullah, Phillip Gaines, Marcus Peters, Eric Berry, Tyvon Branch, Daniel Sorensen, Kelcie McCray, Jamell Fleming, Steven Nelson. Suspended (1): Sean Smith. Released (6): Sanders Commings, Marcus Cooper, Aaron Hester, Deji Olatoye, Kenneth Perry, Kevin Short.
The situation is complicated by Smith’s three-game suspension. I’ve got the Chiefs keeping only four cornerbacks, two of them rookies, in his absence. That might lead the Chiefs to keep another corner, probably Cooper. But if the Chiefs keep another corner they might cut a spot at another position rather than from this list. Their top four safeties are too good to set free while Sorensen and McCray are strong special teams players.
Winchester and East are competing to be the long snapper.