The Kansas City Chiefs will see some linebacker depth return with Dorian O’Daniel back in practice.
On Wednesday, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid announced that several players were unable to practice due to health concerns, including some surprises, but lost in the shuffle was the return of linebacker Dorian O’Daniel to practice. The team designated him as eligible to return from injured reserve.
O’Daniel has three weeks to practice and return to the active roster at this point, but no timeline has been given about O’Daniel’s readiness. However, if he’s able to play soon, his return gives the Chiefs some depth and security at linebacker and on special teams that has been missing given a series of recent injuries.
Fortunately the Chiefs have already gone through the leanest period at the position on Sunday, and they shouldn’t have to repeat that again. Against the Atlanta Falcons, the Chiefs were down to Willie Gay, Darius Harris, and Omari Cobb since Anthony Hitchens was on the reserve/COVID list and both Damien Wilson and Ben Niemann were lost to injuries. Hitchens should be cleared to return moving forward, and now O’Daniel’s presence gives the team some further options.
O’Daniel hasn’t made the roster impact expected after he was selected at the bottom of the third round back in the 2018 NFL Draft. As an athletic, versatile linebacker, O’Daniel came to the Chiefs with championship experience out of Clemson. However, he’s yet to take on any significant reps at the position as a rarely used defensive sub; instead he’s found his niche on special teams units. He has 51 total tackles, 2 quarterback hits, 1 sack, and 2 fumble recoveries in 41 games for the Chiefs over the last three seasons.
In other roster moves, the Chiefs also signed defensive lineman Tyler Clark to the practice squad, a former member of the Chicago Bears practice squad and a former Georgia lineman.