Chiefs rookie BoPete Keyes given non-football-injury designation.
It was a busy weekend for official news for Kansas City Chiefs rookie cornerback Thakarius “BoPete” Keyes. The team’s seventh round draft pick not only officially signed his rookie contract, but he was then subsequently given a non-football injury designation to start the preseason.
The non-football injury list means that Keyes does not have COVID-19 (a separate reserve designation exists for that in 2020), but it does mean that Keyes suffered an injury of some type away from the Chiefs. It could mean anything from an issue from practicing on his own before returning to the team’s training camp, or it could be some sort of random injury or illness. Expect the Chiefs to clarify Keyes’ condition to the media at some point on Monday.
If Keyes misses much time at all, it’s going to hurt his cause to make the Chiefs active roster to begin the year. The Chiefs have sunk a future investment to bring him into the present, but the lack of any preseason games makes the on-ramp short for all rookies into the league. In addition, availability is going to be key for training camp this year for all new faces on an already loaded roster.
The Chiefs looked like they were finished with the 2020 NFL Draft after the selection of fifth-round pick Michael Danna, but general manager Brett Veach decided to trade a future selection in the seventh round in order to take Keyes. A former Tulane defensive back, Keyes brought the coveted combination of athleticism and length that Steve Spagnuolo loves in his corners.
In his final season at Tulane, Keyes put up 47 total tackles to go with 4 passes defended and 1 interception.