The Kansas City Chiefs had a busy Saturday on the transaction wire given the number of roster moves they made—both with the short-term and long-term in mind. Not only did they sign three new players to reserve/future contracts in order to secure their services for the 2021 season, but they solidified their roster with last-minute changes before taking the field for Super Bowl LV.
The Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are slated to kick off in the NFL’s biggest game of the season on Sunday evening, which means the Chiefs were working to shift some pieces around in the days and hours before the big game. Some of the primary moves included activating tight end Deon Yelder officially from injured reserve and elevating quarterback Matt Moore and wide receiver Marcus Kemp to the active roster.
To make room for some of the new arrivals, the Chiefs officially placed left tackle Eric Fisher and rookie linebacker Willie Gay Jr. on injured reserve, which comes as no surprise to fans who’ve known both players would miss the Super Bowl now for several days.
Yelder’s addition back to the active roster means that the team has a bit more depth and experience behind Travis Kelce on offense. While Yelder is a bit part in the team’s high-octane offense, every matchup is pivotal heading into such a game with so much on the line. Yelder had only 11 targets in 14 games this season for the Chiefs so the offensive impact will be minimal, but it keeps Nick Keizer from being the lone backup tight end available to Andy Reid.
The Chiefs made a number of roster moves before Super Bowl LV.
As for Kemp, he’ll give the Chiefs a proven contributor on special teams and depth at wide receiver, while Moore will play the role of QB3 in case something happens to both Patrick Mahomes and Chad Henne. Moore filled in admirably for the Chiefs last season when Mahomes was out with a knee injury and Henne was on IR for the entire season.
In addition to the roster changes, the Chiefs also added three new players to the mix for next season. For now, they aren’t relevant for the Super Bowl, but with the new league year in March, all three players will officially join the Chiefs’ 90-man roster at that point. Those players include defensive back Rodney Clemons, running back Derrick Gore, and defensive tackle Tyler Clark.
Clemons will be the most familiar face of all of those names given his tenure with the team already this season on the practice squad after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent from SMU. Clark is a former Georgia product who spent time with the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals this year. Gore spent time with the L.A. Chargers over parts of the last two years after signing with the team from Louisiana-Monroe (ULM).