The Kansas City Chiefs can look in-house for further experienced help for their offensive line.
Every NFL team is forced to deal with a number of injuries as any regular season wears on. For the Kansas City Chiefs, the biggest challenges have come in the secondary and the offensive line, as several cornerbacks and interior linemen in particular have been lost for part or even all of the 2020 season.
Along the offensive front, the Chiefs lost two players before the regular season was even set to begin. First, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, the team’s starting right guard for the last five seasons, decided to opt out for the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the trained medical doctor is serving alongside other front-line workers to treat victims in his native Canada.
Shortly after that, Lucas Niang also decided to do the same, becoming the third and last Chiefs player to opt out along with running back Damien Williams. Niang, who was drafted out of Texas Christian in the third round, was slated to compete at guard in his first year and potentially profile long-term as a tackle who could eventually replace Eric Fisher or Mitchell Schwartz when the time came.
In the shadow of Duvernay-Tardif’s decision, the Chiefs signed former Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele to a one-year deal and he immediately became a pillar on the offense’s left side. However, after only four full games, Osemele tore tendons in both knees on a single play early in Week 5 against his former team and was lost for the year. Just like that, a third lineman was lost.
After losing both starting guards for the 2020 season and even watching one of their replacements get injured as well, you might think the Chiefs could use some free agent help. While that’s entirely possible, the Chiefs are surprisingly well prepared for this very predicament, thanks to the foresight of general manager Brett Veach. Here’s a look at the experienced options already in house for the team.