We’ve finally arrived at Week 9, which means Melvin Ingram is set to make his debut with the Kansas City Chiefs. For fans who are looking for him on the field on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, you can find him wearing the No. 24, a shift from his No. 8 uniform number he had while in Pittsburgh for the first half of the season with the Steelers.
The Chiefs acquired Ingram by trading a sixth-round pick to the Steelers before the NFL’s trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon earlier this week. The move cemented Ingram in place after an offseason featuring a lot of rumored interest from the Chiefs to sign Ingram on the open market. However, a free agent visit came and went in March only to find both parties unable to work out a deal for reasons unknown.
The Steelers eventually signed him to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million but the fit wasn’t right for Ingram and his playing time had decreased considerably in recent weeks. Thus the Steelers were willing to shop him at the deadline.
Melvin Ingram has changed his number to 24.
For the Chiefs, Ingram is arriving at an ideal time in which the Chiefs’ schedule is going to get difficult week to week and the defense has had a difficult time generating a consistent pass rush. Questions remains as to how much impact Ingram can have at this stage in his career given that he’s clearly playing in his twilight season(s), but the Chiefs have been following him closely for quite some time, so they should have a good read on what he brings to the team.
Ingram’s new number, 24, is reportedly a tribute to Kobe Bryant, per ESPN reporter Adam Teicher, but both of his numbers this season are much different than the No. 54 he sported for years with the L.A. Chargers organization.
While it’s not yet known just how much Ingram will play, it’s clear that the team will get him some reps to ease him into Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme on Sunday after questions arose early in the week if there was enough time for him to play at all.
Ingram has 10 tackles and 1 sack in 6 games this season, all with the Steelers.