The Kansas City Chiefs are loading up for a potential Super Bowl run. General manager Brett Veach has made a trio of intriguing additions in recent days. The Chiefs added running back Melvin Gordon, defensive tackle Brandon Williams, and wide receiver Bryan Edwards to their practice squad. All three players should soon find themselves on their 53-man roster with chances to contribute.
Gordon is undeniably the biggest name and his addition arrives with opportune timing. The Chiefs placed running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on IR due to a high-ankle sprain on Nov. 23. Edwards-Helaire must miss a minimum of three more contests (he’s already missed one).
Edwards-Helaire has been an inconsistent performer, but the Chiefs’ backfield didn’t look better without him in Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Rams. Rookie running back Isiah Pacheco received the start but averaged just 3.1 yards per carry on 22 carries (69 rushing yards and a touchdown). The uninspiring Ronald Jones II assumed backup duties but gained just 12 yards via four carries. Jerick McKinnon was limited to passing-down work.
The Chiefs are averaging 114.8 rushing yards per contest. They’re the 19th-ranked unit in that department. Gordon is a veteran ball-carrier that is capable of contributing to the Chiefs’ by-committee backfield. Gordon is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry this season, but he’ll encounter a much better offensive line and offense in Kansas City than the one he played for in Denver this season.
Williams’ addition to the defensive side of the ball should strengthen the middle of Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. Kansas City’s stingy run defense is allowing just 102.0 rushing yards per game. Statistically, they’re the league’s fifth-best run defense. The Chiefs have struggled against the run when forced to match heavy personnel, however. The Tennessee Titans rushed for 172 yards against the Chiefs in Week 9. Derrick Henry averaged 6.8 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns via 17 carries. Williams will help the Chiefs combat the offensive looks they’re struggling with.
A Pro Bowler, the 6-foot-1, 336-pound Williams is an expert run stuffer. Signing with the Chiefs also reunites Williams with defensive line coach Joe Cullen. Cullen previously coached Williams for five seasons (2016-20) in Baltimore.
Williams logged 198 run-stopping snaps for the Ravens last season. He was credited with 35 total tackles and 16 stops, via Pro Football Focus. Williams has never been a high-end pass rusher, but he did record 10 pressures and eight quarterback hurries in 2021.
Edwards is joining a receiver room that is also hurting. Kadarius Toney missed Sunday’s win over the Rams with a hamstring injury. Toney’s hamstring has bothered him all season long and he remains day-to-day. Mecole Hardman is also on IR, which creates a depth issue. The Chiefs’ receiver room has taken on more of a by-committee approach in the wake of Tyreek Hill’s departure. Edwards is a big-bodied boundary receiver that could work himself into Andy Reid’s rotation.
Veach and Reid are familiar with Edwards. Edwards spent the first two seasons of his career (2020-21) plying his trade in the AFC West with the Las Vegas Raiders. The Chiefs received a front-row seat to Edwards’ capabilities.
The 9-2 Chiefs are among the league’s elites. They’re swiftly closing in on capturing their seventh consecutive AFC West division title. Reid’s Chiefs are fully capable of winning Super Bowl LVII. They’re leaving no stone unturned with three timely additions that improve their chances of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
- Feb 07, 2023
- Feb 07, 2023