Tim Ward has waited a long time to get his chance with the Chiefs.
Tim Ward has been waiting for this moment. The Kansas City Chiefs just announced that they’ve promoted Ward from the team’s practice squad to the active roster.
The Chiefs are in the bye week, so they’re not exactly preparing for a specific opponent, but the Las Vegas Raiders are next and the move means something for the team (and Ward) going forward. Whatever it does mean, it’s a moment toward which Ward has been working for a very long time.
Ward first signed with the Chiefs after going unselected in the 2019 NFL Draft. After a nice career at Old Dominion, Ward faced long odds to be picked given his small school status and the fact that most attention given to the Monarchs program centered on Oshane Ximines and rightfully so. The New York Giants took Ximines in the third round of the 2019 draft, but Ward ended up signing with K.C. shortly thereafter.
While at Old Dominion, Ward definitely showed he could disrupt plays in the backfield alongside Ximines to the tune of 31 career tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks. However, a torn ACL abruptly ended his college career, and he spent his rookie season on injured reserve for the Chiefs as he rehabbed from surgery.
Still, Ward’s length is impressive at 6’6″ and the Chiefs clearly like Ward’s skill set and potential ceiling. He’s outlasted plenty of competition to not only make the team last year but to stave off any new competition brought in by Brett Veach this offseason. He’s lingered through two complete offseasons now to make the team and he now finds himself climbing even higher onto the Chiefs 53-man roster. That’s an impressive climb to make against such long odds on a Super Bowl contender.
If that seems like a long climb, just know that the Chiefs have envisioned that very scenario since they first decided to sign Ward. Here’s Brett Veach on Ward shortly after they brought him on board in 2019.
"“You may not see him this year, but we’re going to take our time with his rehab, we’re not going to rush him, and he could be a guy that could really develop and be a player in the future.”"
The Chiefs knew all along that Ward would be a late bloomer and signed him accordingly. It seems as if Ward is now rewarding the team’s patience with the hard work required to make his presence felt. Depending on the health of Taco Charlton and Alex Okafor, give him another week and we might even see Ward make his NFL debut with rotational snaps against an AFC West rival.