KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When it comes to figuring those who will make the 53-man roster, the final preseason game for the Kansas City Chiefs is more instructive for which players didn’t get in the game than those who did.
Andy Reid’s plan for the final exhibition game, which was Thursday night’s 17-7 win against the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium, was to rest the starters and key veteran reserves. Those who didn’t play, and there were 32 players in that category, are locks to make it through the final round of roster cuts to the NFL limit of 53. Those cuts are due Saturday.
So we’ll take a look at the snap counts from Thursday’s game with an eye toward those who didn’t play.
Running back: Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West. They will be on the roster. The snaps on Thursday were split evenly between the other two backs (Darrin Reaves 40 and Knile Davis 39) and it will be interesting to see whether the Chiefs keep a fourth back, and if they do, which one wins the job.
Fullback: Anthony Sherman, the only fullback on the roster, didn’t play. That accurately reflects his job security.
Wide receiver: Jeremy Maclin, Chris Conley, Albert Wilson. There’s been speculation the Chiefs will unload Wilson, but that’s unlikely. They would have showcased him on Thursday if they were hoping to trade him. Six receivers played, including the three others most likely to make the roster: Rod Streater (47 snaps), Demarcus Robinson (47) and Tyreek Hill (18).
Offensive line: Eric Fisher, Parker Ehinger, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Mitchell Schwartz, Zach Fulton. These are the five starters and the top substitute at the interior positions (Fulton). The lineman who played the fewest snaps against the Packers, Jah Reid (18), is the next most likely roster candidate.
Defensive line: Allen Bailey, Dontari Poe, Jaye Howard, Chris Jones. They will get the bulk of the work during the regular season. Snaps on Thursday for the other four linemen ranged from 40 (Rakeem Nunez-Roches) to 35 (Nick Williams).
Linebacker: Tamba Hali, Frank Zombo, Dee Ford, Derrick Johnson, Justin March. This means March, who joined the Chiefs as an undrafted rookie last year, has won one of the starting spots on the inside. Dezman Moses was the only defensive player to log each of Green Bay’s 62 snaps.
Cornerback: Marcus Peters, Phillip Gaines, Steven Nelson. The most snaps played on Thursday were by D.J. White (45), a rookie the Chiefs are trying to push into the playing rotation, and Kenneth Acker (42), who was playing his first game in Kansas City after being traded from the 49ers.