The Kansas City Chiefs did it two squad changes before Week 8. Linebacker Nick Bolton was officially placed on IR due to his wrist injury and veteran safety Deon Bush was signed from the practice squad.
The Chiefs did not announce a 53-man replacement for Bolton at the time, nor did they announce one for wide receiver Justyn Ross — who was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List by the NFL after his arrest.
That means KC will take part in the Denver Broncos rematch with 51 players – plus Bush. Keep in mind that only 48 of these players will actually be drafted, so there will simply be fewer inactives than usual.
Chiefs LB Drue Tranquill is again being asked to replace Nick Bolton
The Chiefs’ signing of Drue Tranquill is looking smarter and smarter. Bolton Start all 17 games in 2022 – along with three playoff starts – but he has been bitten by the injury bug so far in 2023.
The middle linebacker and defensive team leader initially missed three appearances from week 3 to week 5. Now he will miss at least four more starts after being placed on IR.
It goes without saying that Tranquill’s injuries are becoming increasingly important.
Kansas City initially signed the veteran because of his versatility and intelligence. Tranquill is a guy who can play any linebacker position without missing a beat.
He’s not Bolton, don’t get me wrong, but the loss is nowhere near as dramatic as the loss of another franchise’s star defender.
Taking over the starting role in week 3, Pro Football Focus rated Quiet at 73.1. He was considered a plus tackler, but also only allowed one reception in coverage and had two quarterback pressures (one sack) on the QB.
Against the New York Jets the following weekend, his performances were a bit more mixed.
While Tranquill’s run defense and pass rush (two more QB pressures) were solid in Week 4, his tackling and coverage numbers took a bit of a dip. This was due to two missed tackles and six catches allowed.
Tranquill was similarly attacked through the air in Week 5, but his tackling grade improved despite worse run defense grades than in his first two starts.
So did the veteran relieve Bolton perfectly? Obviously he didn’t, but Tranquill also did enough to fill the void and help the Chiefs to three wins.
It will be interesting to see how the fifth-year pro performs after Bolton’s second extended absence of the year.
Chiefs S Deon Bush fulfills Dave Toub’s promotion promise
On October 26, A-to-Z Sports KC media member Charles Goldman submitted this assistant head coach and “Chiefs [special teams] Coordinator Dave Toub says the team could bring one [linebacker] or [safety] I have been removed from the training squad this week for ST purposes.”
That promotion ultimately went to Bush, a veteran who earned a reputation as a core special teams player at the NFL level.
After to Pro Football Focus, Bush recorded 373 special teams snaps in the 2022 regular season and playoffs combined – the most of his career. He played on every ST unit except field goal attempts.
The defensive back had a similar track record with the Chicago Bears. He spent six years in the Windy City after entering the league as a fourth-round pick.
Although Bush played a more serious role, he was a key contributor to the ST throughout the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run last season.
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