KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs have trimmed their roster to 54 players, one over the normal NFL limit, because they have an exemption that expires before the regular season begins for the recently signed Eric Berry.
Let’s take a look by position at what the Chiefs have left after roster cuts.
Quarterback (3): Alex Smith, Nick Foles, Tyler Bray. This was the only trio that made sense for the Chiefs as the preseason moved on. Aaron Murray wasn’t good in most of the exhibition games and Kevin Hogan received little work in practice after the Chiefs signed Foles. In Foles, the Chiefs have a veteran backup for Smith. Don’t underestimate how important that is to the Chiefs.
Running back (4): Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West, Knile Davis. Four’s a crowd at running back, but keep in mind the Charles aren’t confident Charles will be ready to play when the regular season begins on Sept. 11 against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium. West also didn’t play the final three games because of an injured elbow, though it appears he will be ready to go against the Chargers. Still, the Chiefs might need Davis against the Chargers, and perhaps beyond.
Fullback (1): Anthony Sherman. There was never a doubt he’d be the only fullback to make the roster.
Wide receiver (6): Jeremy Maclin, Chris Conley, Albert Wilson, Tyreek Hill, De’Anthony Thomas, Demarcus Robinson. The Chiefs traded Rod Streater to the 49ers and that leaves a bunch that, other than Maclin, has accomplished little in the NFL. They’re betting on the development of Conley and some contributions from Hill, Thomas and Wilson. Robinson looks like a developmental prospect who might not be active for many games.
Tight end (4): Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, Ross Travis, James O’Shaughnessy. The Chiefs like their three-tight end formations, so the first three should get plenty of playing time. The Chiefs have to make another roster cut before the San Diego game because their exemption for Eric Berry expires. O’Shaughnessy seems a likely a candidate.
Offensive line (8): Eric Fisher, Parker Ehinger, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Mitch Schwartz, Zach Fulton, Jah Reid, Jordan Devey. Fulton, Reid and Devey are the backups. They’ve all started before in the regular season and can play multiple positions.
Defensive line (6): Allen Bailey, Dontari Poe, Jaye Howard, Chris Jones, Nick Williams, Rakeem Nunez-Roches. Jones, a rookie, will join the first three in the playing rotation, though Williams could also get some work.
Linebacker (9): Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Justin March, Dee Ford, Frank Zombo, Dadi Nicolas, Dezman Moses, Ramik Wilson, D.J. Alexander. The Chiefs kept four inside linebackers and five on the outside, a nod to the injuries that are bothering Hali and keeping Justin Houston on the injured list. March, who joined the Chiefs last year as an undrafted rookie, has never played a regular season snap but is a likely starter against the Chargers.
Cornerback (6): Marcus Peters, Phillip Gaines, Steven Nelson, Kenneth Acker, D.J. White, KeiVarae Russell. There’s not much experience here. White and Russell are rookies, Peters and Nelson are in their second seasons and Gaines and Acker are in their third seasons.
Safety (4): Eric Berry, Ron Parker, Daniel Sorensen, Eric Murray. Berry, who signed his contract and joined the Chiefs for practice only last week, is still a likely starter against the Chargers. But he might not be able to go a full game, so the Chiefs might have to use Sorensen or Murray.
Specialists (3): Cairo Santos, Dustin Colquitt, James Winchester. The Chiefs had no competition for any of them in camp and the preseason, so there was never a doubt Santos would be the kicker, Colquitt the punter and Winchester the deep snapper.