When the defense first took the field and I saw Tim Ward lined up at defensive end, my first thought was “Who is number 90?”. Well if I didn’t know to start the game, I certainly did by the time it was over. Ward is a 6-foot-6 and 255 pound defensive end that the Chiefs originally brought in as an undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion in 2019. He’s been a developmental project for K.C. and it looks like it might be starting to pay off.
Ward registered five tackles on Sunday, including his first career sack, another tackle for loss, and two other quarterback hits. Perhaps just as impressive was when he ran down Justin Jackson on a long 37-yard run to keep him just short of the end zone. Overall, I feel like Ward was the biggest surprise of the night in terms of an individual player putting himself on my radar who wasn’t there before.
The future of the defensive end position after this season is a bit of a question mark. Frank Clark is signed long term and rookie Mike Danna looks like a guy that will stick around, but Alex Okafor‘s contract was restructured to wrap this season and Tanoh Kpassagnon is a free agent as well. That could leave the door wide open for Ward to earn a spot in the regular rotation next season if he can build off his strong debut against the Chargers.
Finally, let’s talk about the guy that is number one on the list of guys that still needs to see the field in the playoffs even when all the starters are back.