The Chiefs will welcome back a starting linebacker this weekend, but they’ll be down a starting safety for the foreseeable future. The team announced that they’ve placed safety Bryan Cook on injured reserve. The move makes room for linebacker Nick Bolton, who will be returning from IR.
Cook suffered an ankle injury last weekend that limited him to a season-low 22 defensive snaps. Coach Andy Reid already ruled out the defensive back for tomorrow’s game against the Bills, but Cook will now be sidelined for at least the next four games. He’ll be eligible to return for the regular season finale.
The 2022 second-round played mostly as a backup during his rookie season, starting only one of his 16 appearances while getting into about 32 percent of his team’s defensive snaps. In 2023, he’s started all 12 games for the Chiefs, collecting 42 tackles, two passes defended, and two fumble recoveries (including one for a score). Pro Football Focus currently has him ranked 40th among 83 qualifying safeties.
With Cook out of the lineup, the team will likely lean more on Mike Edwards opposite Justin Reid. Edwards has already seen a significant defensive role in 2023, and there have been some weeks where he’s out-snapped Cook.
As ESPN’s Field Yates points out, it’s notable that the Chiefs didn’t place running back Isiah Pacheco on IR. The running back is dealing with a shoulder issue that will sideline him for at least Week 14, and Reid admitted this week that he’s uncertain how much time the starter will miss.
Additionally, the Chiefs announced their two standard gameday practice squad elevations. Suiting up with the active roster against the Bills this weekend will be safety Deon Bush and running back Deneric Prince.