Takeaways From 53-Man Roster

Takeaways From 53-Man Roster

On Tuesday, the Chiefs made their final revisions to the 53-man roster as the team
gears up for the regular season. Some names broke camp with the club for the first time
in their career while others were not so fortunate. Here are five takeaways from final
roster cuts.

By Jack Johnson, Sports Radio 810 Contributor

1. Jody Fortson season is here
After years of clamoring for Fortson to make the roster, the day has finally come.
Following an impressive showing in the preseason, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound wideout
achieved his longtime dream.
“God is good, man,” Fortson said.” I’ve put a lot of time into this and there were a lot of
days that this wouldn’t come, but I had to stay true to it. I just kept working and here we
are. I know there’s so much more work to do, but I was told to take my small victories as
well and cherish them. So, it’s just been a long road, it’s been a long road.”
In terms of the depth chart, Fortson likely slides into a special teams role and sees the
field in a two-tight end set.

2. Jerrick McKinnon has his shot at a comeback
Coming into the preseason, the battle for the final running back spot fell between
McKinnon and Darwin Thompson. In the end, McKinnon’s abilities in the passing game
proved to be more of a necessity.
McKinnon rushed for 319 yards and totaled 253 yards on 33 catches last season with
the 49ers. He also spent four seasons with the Vikings from 2014-17.
Depending on the health of Clyde Edwards-Healire, McKinnon could see a considerable
amount of playing time early in the season.

3. Mike Hughes flashes in the return game earned him a spot
The former first round pick out of Central Florida was a low-risk, high-reward gamble for
Kansas City in the offseason. In 24 career games in Minnesota, Hughes started only
seven games and totaled two interceptions. However, the Chiefs needed help in the
secondary and remained confident that Hughes could fill that need. In regards to
Hughes, he is just as confident in the cornerback group as a whole.
“We work so hard over here, man,” Hughes said. “Competing against those guys on
offense, they’re going to give you the best look that they can. It’s a blessing, just going
against some of the best receivers in the league every day, it makes the game so much
easier. Coach puts a big emphasis on working hard so that’s really what we do at
Hughes, though, really shined elsewhere in the preseason. Like Fortson, Hughes made
an impact through special teams, which opened eyes. On Friday, he returned a punt for
a touchdown, but it was called back. Nonetheless, the explosiveness was on full display.
“It’s always a good feeling to get in the endzone,” Hughes said. “No matter the situation,
it felt really good. It’s been a while since I returned a punt, probably since college, I
think. It felt good to have those guys do their job up front, they did a great job. I was
untouched, and I just look forward to making those plays.”

4. The Chiefs are high on Daurice Fountain
There were a list of interesting cuts made, but the receiver group stood out most. To
keep Fountain on the roster, the Chiefs waived 2021 fifth-round pick Cornell Powell and
released Marcus Kemp and Gehrig Dieter.
Fountain, 25, has just two seasons in the NFL under his belt — both coming with the
Colts. A fifth-round pick out of Northern Iowa, Fountain put up the best numbers of any
Chiefs receiver trying to make the roster in the preseason.
As things stand, the wideout group includes Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Byron
Pringle, Demarcus Robinson, and Fountain.

5. Marcus Kemp is likely to return
It was a bit of a shock when the Chiefs announced that Kemp had been one of the cuts
to shrink the roster. However, per Matt Derrick — a contributor to 810, cutting Kemp was
a “procedural move”. Since he was released and not waived, Kemp doesn’t go through
waivers. Instead, the team can re-sign him after placing an injured player on the IR.
If Kansas City decides to bring back Kemp, he would be the final man on the 53-man
roster and sixth piece to the wide receiver room.