A few defenders returned to practice for the K.C. Chiefs on Monday after sitting out the preseason opener against San Francisco. That’s especially good news for a defensive front that already looked talented and deep in the team’s 19-17 win over the 49ers.
Defensive linemen Taco Charlton and Alex Okafor were two friendly faces back in Chiefs practice following some significant time away for hamstring injuries. The Chiefs also welcomed back linebacker Willie Gay Jr after he sat for several days in the team’s concussion protocol.
The return of all three players should intensify the competition in camp, especially up front, after a game in which the lines looked really sharp on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs were able to sack 49ers quarterbacks five times, including two for Tim Ward, for a whopping 39 yards.
Alex Okafor and Taco Charlton are back from hamstring injuries for the Chiefs.
With Ward looking good on Saturday, along with positive reports on the growth for both Mike Danna and Tershawn Wharton in their second seasons, the defensive line is suddenly looking very strong. Khalen Saunders is also looking like a bounce back candidate, and of course, the Chiefs will rely on their three pillars up front—Chris Jones, Jarran Reed, Frank Clark—for the bulk of production.
Together with Okafor and Charlton, the Chiefs now have some great competition in camp to push young players or. those in contract seasons to dig deep and ensure their spot on the active roster. At this point, no one can take anything for granted which should bring out the best in everyone as the Chiefs pare down the roster as the regular season nears.
Charlton and Okafor are both vets signed to one-year deals who have nothing guaranteed for them. Getting back in practice and showing what each are still capable of is a good development for both the players and the team.