Chiefs place Mitchell Schwartz on injured reserve

Mitchell Schwartz continues to miss time due to a lingering back injury for the Chiefs.

For weeks, fans have been waiting for Mitchell Schwartz to return to the Kansas City Chiefs offensive line, each week hoping that this might be the game to which he’ll return. After the bye week, when Schwartz was still missing time, it was clear the issue was long-term. The Chiefs cemented that fact on Saturday.

The Chiefs announced a series of moves regarding their injured reserve list on Saturday, replacing defensive end Alex Okafor and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed with defensive end Taco Charlton and Schwartz.

Schwartz is the team’s most valuable lineman and has been a pillar at right tackle since he first signed as a free agent before the 2016 NFL season. Since then, he’s been named First or Second Team All-Pro on four separate occasions before hitting a wall this year with back pain that’s kept him out since Week 6, when he first left early from the team’s win over the Buffalo Bills.

Without Schwartz in the lineup, the Chiefs have continued to win with Mike Remmers filling in adequately at right tackle, but the real concern will be down the stretch and into the playoffs as the Chiefs hope to “run it back.” Well-coached teams will do everything they can to take advantage of any potential mismatches along the line, and it will be interesting to see whether the Chiefs tinker with the lineup at all which Schwartz is out for a stretch.

As for other players, Charlton was an easy choice for the IR since he’s recovering from a fractured foot. However, the Chiefs have to be glad to have more defensive depth and talent with the return of Okafor to the line and Sneed to the secondary.