Chiefs training camp primer: Three burning questions

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The Kansas City Chiefs are just days away from opening training camp in St. Joseph, Mo. In fact, quarterbacks and rookies will report to Missouri Western State University later today. The first full squad practice is set for Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm (Arrowhead Time). There’s sure to be spirited competition at a number of position groups, but there are also a few individual storylines I’ll be following during the team’s 19-day stay on the Griffon campus.

Positional battles tend to be the focal point of camp, but there are always other narratives invariably tied to the weeks that lead up to the preseason. Those arcs generally track the progress of players returning from injury, the underachieving performers of seasons past, and the trajectory of the future at a given spot. There are worthwhile questions to ask in each category for this 2015 installment of training camp. These inquiries are perhaps secondary in nature, but nonetheless important to the big picture for this football team.

1. Will Sanders Commings make the 53-man roster?

Since being drafted in 2013, safety Sanders Commings has appeared in just two regular season games. Both of his NFL seasons have been marred by injury. Commings’ rookie campaign was cut short by a broken collarbone in late July. He returned the following year only to be lost to a broken ankle in training camp. There are two years left on the former Georgia Bulldog’s rookie contract, but I’d argue that he’s on borrowed time in Kansas City barring an impressive camp/preseason showing. Just staying healthy at this stage of his career might not be sufficient enough for him to claim a spot on the roster in 2015. I’m inclined to think he’ll have to make a significant contribution to the team over the next seven weeks to avoid being released. Even without Eric Berry in the fold, the Chiefs are fairly deep at safety.

My prediction: Commings is finished in Kansas City.

If Commings does manage to stay on the field, he’ll have to prove valuable defensively and on special teams. The Chiefs already have solid teams contributors in Daniel Sorensen and Kelcie McCray. He’ll have to separate himself in two distinct phases of the game with only a short window to do it in.

Next: Two more questions...