Daniel Kilgore

Chiefs C Daniel Kilgore Cleared To Play In Super Bowl

Daniel Kilgore is back on track to appear in Super Bowl LV. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Chiefs center has been cleared to play on Sunday. The player will presumably be activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list this afternoon.

Kilgore, along with wideout Demarcus Robinson, received haircuts last weekend from a barber who tested positive. The veteran offensive lineman spent the past week sitting on the reserve list, but he consistently tested negative throughout the week. After completing his five-day clearance period, Kilgore will be able to travel with his team to Tampa Bay today.

Kilgore, 33, caught on with the Chiefs late in the preseason. He started three games for Kansas City between Week 6 and Week 8, but he only appeared in three more regular season games the rest of the way, with two of those outings seeing him collect a total of only five offensive snaps. Kilgore appeared in the Chiefs’ win over the Bills in the AFC Championship, playing on six special teams snaps.

With Robinson and Kilgore off the reserve list, it’s looking like no players will have to miss the Super Bowl due to COVID-19 concerns. Rapoport tweets that both the Chiefs and Buccaneers have exclusively returned negative tests this week.

Latest On Chiefs’ Demarcus Robinson, Daniel Kilgore

Good news for the Chiefs. Wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and center Daniel Kilgore have tested negative every day since their close contact situation last week, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Barring any changes, Robinson will be able to rejoin the team on Friday. Kilgore, who needs an extra day to clear, is on track to reunite with his teammates on Saturday. 

[RELATED: Mutual Interest Between Sammy Watkins, Chiefs On New Contract]

Both players received haircuts last weekend from a barber who tested positive, putting their Super Bowl status in jeopardy. Losing Robinson would have been especially tough for the Chiefs. This year, he ranked third in receptions behind only Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. In total, he turned in a 45/466/3 stat line, marking the best season of his career to date. He should be set to share No. 3 WR duties with Mecole Hardman, giving the Bucs’ secondary yet another headache to manage.

Kilgore, 33, suited up in seven games for the Chiefs this year and started only four times. But, with right tackle Mitchell Schwartz on the shelf, the offensive line is being reshuffled, so the Chiefs need him more than ever. By the skin of his teeth, Kilgore is expected to get the green light for Sunday.

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No New COVID Cases For Chiefs, Bucs

The latest round of testing revealed no new COVID-19 positives for players on the Chiefs or Buccaneers, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Barring any hitches, both teams should be set for Super Bowl LV on Sunday.

[RELATED: Chiefs’ Mitchell Schwartz Out For Super Bowl?]

The Chiefs were forced to place two players — center Daniel Kilgore and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson — on the COVID-19/reserve list earlier this week. Fortunately, neither player has tested positive, though they were in close contact with a barber who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Close-contact situations require only a five-day clearance, so both players should be able to suit up if they continue to test negative. Kilgore has mostly been a reserve for Kansas City this season, but he’s a valuable backup, having started 13 games for the Dolphins last year. Also, the Chiefs will likely be without the services of right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, so they’ll want Kilgore at the ready. Robinson plays a large role, so the Chiefs don’t want to lose him either. Robinson appeared in all 16 regular season games this year, racking up 45 catches for 466 yards and three touchdowns.

Chiefs Place Daniel Kilgore, Demarcus Robinson On Reserve/COVID-19 List

It’s far from a worst-case scenario, but COVID-19 issues are beginning to creep into the Super Bowl. The Chiefs have placed center Daniel Kilgore and receiver Demarcus Robinson on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

The good news is that Schefter reports both are going on the list due to close contacts, and not positive tests. There’s only a five-day clearance period needed for close contacts, so if both players continue to test negative they’ll be able to rejoin the team this weekend before the game and suit up for Super Bowl LV. Kilgore started 13 games for the Dolphins last year, but he’s mostly been a reserve for Kansas City this season.

He’s appeared in seven games with four starts, although he hasn’t been counted on to start in the playoffs yet. Robinson plays a pretty large role, so the Chiefs certainly don’t want to lose him. He finished the regular season appearing in all 16 games with nine starts, racking up 45 catches for 466 yards and three touchdowns.

He only has three targets through Kansas City’s first two playoff games, but he played at least 65 percent of the offensive snaps in both of those games. We’ve got a long week left to go, but hopefully these are the only COVID-related issues that arise before the big game (knock on wood).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs To Sign OL Daniel Kilgore

The Chiefs intend to sign veteran offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore, as Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports reports (via Twitter). Kilgore, 32, is about to enter his 10th season in the NFL.

The Appalachian State product was selected by the 49ers in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. It took him until the 2014 season to record his first career start, and then he ran into some tough injury luck, sustaining a broken leg that wiped out a good portion of his 2014-15 seasons.

He battled back to start 13 games at center in 2016 and a full 16-game slate in 2017. The advanced metrics have never been high on his work, but the 49ers certainly liked him enough to keep him around for a number of years and even signed him to a three-year extension after the 2017 season, only to ship him to the Dolphins several months later.

But in 2018, his first season with the ‘Fins, Kilgore played in only four games due to a torn pec. Though he played in 13 contests (all starts) in 2019, Miami was not terribly impressed and declined his 2020 option, making him a free agent. The Chiefs are the first team with reported interest.

It’s presently unclear whether Kilgore will push incumbent Kansas City center Austin Reiter for playing time, or if he projects as more of a depth piece. Kilgore has played guard in his career as well, so he could back up that position in the wake of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif‘s decision to opt out. Of course, the club also signed Kelechi Osemele to help fill the void left by LDT.

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Dolphins To Decline Daniel Kilgore’s Option

The Dolphins won’t pick up the option on center Daniel Kilgore, as Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com tweets. With that, the veteran will become a free agent when the league year begins on March 18. 

[RELATED: Dolphins To Release S Reshad Jones]

Kilgore has made 17 starts in the middle since joining the Dolphins in 2018. By turning down the option on the final year in his contract, the Dolphins will save $4MM against the 2020 cap.

The Dolphins have been exploring Kilgore alternatives throughout the offseason and their replacement could come in either free agency or the draft. They’re well-stocked with both cash and picks, so there will be plenty of avenues to explore.

After dropping Kilgore, the Dolphins have about $127.9MM in committments for the coming year. They could trim that number even further, too. If they stand pat, they’ll enter free agency with upwards of $91.5MM to burn.

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AFC East Notes: Jets, OL, Patriots, Kilgore

Add the Jets to the teams in the James Bradberry market. Cornerback resides among the many needs in New York, and the Jets are “very interested” in the Panthers starter, Connor Hughes of The Athletic reports (subscription required). Twenty-two teams have expressed some degree of interest on Bradberry, per Hughes. This includes the Redskins, now run by longtime Panthers coach Ron Rivera. The Giants are interested, but Hughes notes the No. 1 cornerback price tag will likely push them out of the running.

Here is the latest from the AFC East, first moving to other Jets rumors from Indianapolis:

  • A high probability exists the Jets will be the rare team to replace its entire starting offensive line. Week 1’s front five — Kelvin Beachum, Kelechi Osemele, Ryan Kalil, Brian Winters and Brandon Shell — are either unlikely to be back or certainties (in Osemele’s case) not to return, and Hughes notes that the Jets are eyeing four new O-line starters. Alex Lewis, a 2019 trade get who took over after Osemele’s injury, is a free agent but could be the player from last year’s front retained. The Jets are eyeing guards Joe Thuney and Graham Glasgow, per Hughes. While the Jets want to come away with a high-end free agent — they are also in on Jack Conklin — GM Joe Douglas will look to the draft to fill much of the O-line needs, Hughes adds. This points to Gang Green being in the market for this atypically stacked tackle class at No. 11.
  • Thuney is expected to cost at least $14MM, with Jeff Howe of The Athletic adding his bidding could push a guard-high $15MM. The Patriots have seen Nate Solder and Trent Brown sign O-line-record money the past two offseasons; they are not expected to try to keep Thuney. Even Thuney’s backup could have a big market. Ted Karras, a full-time starter only in 2019, may be set to earn command a near-$10MM-AAV deal, per Howe. That would be a good indication of the recently seller-happy O-line market hitting another level.
  • The Jets have also been in the market for edge rushers for years, finishing second in 2018’s Khalil Mack sweepstakes and seeing a player they wanted to turn into an edge defender — Anthony Barr — renege on a deal at the 11th hour. League sources expect Gang Green to target Dante Fowler, Hughes notes. The Rams’ bevy of big contracts will likely limit them from franchise-tagging Fowler. The Jets are also interested in Matt Judon, though the Ravens are likely to tag him. He could be a tag-and-trade option, however.
  • Despite their desperation for edge help, the Jets are not expected to be in the Jadeveon Clowney market. An issue with what some Texans sources described as a “cavalier attitude” made Douglas leery of pursuing a Clowney trade last year and has him looking elsewhere for outside linebacker aid, per Hughes. Clowney’s price tag figures to be immense. The Jets hold $49MM-plus in cap space but have many needs.
  • Optimism exists Devin McCourty will be back in New England on a third contract, Howe adds. McCourty and the Patriots are expected to meet before week’s end. The standout safety has spent all 10 seasons of his career in New England. With Jason McCourty still under contract, Devin returning to the Pats should not exactly surprise.
  • Like the Jets, the Dolphins could have a retooled offensive front. They are looking around for centers to replace Daniel Kilgore, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Kilgore has started 17 games since signing with the Dolphins in 2018. Releasing him in the final year of his contract would save the Dolphins $4MM.

Dolphins Notes: Wilson, Jones, Kilgore

Albert Wilson started his Dolphins career off with a bang in 2018, but a serious hip injury quickly derailed his momentum. He wasn’t the same player this past year, and ended up racking up only 351 yards and one touchdown in 13 games. Wilson has one more year left on his deal at $9.5MM, but it’s entirely non-guaranteed. The blazing fast slot receiver has shown a lot of flashes, but that’s a hefty price tag for any slot receiver. To that end, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that Miami is “likely to discuss a restructuring in the weeks ahead.”

It sounds like Wilson is going to have to accept a pay-cut if he wants to stay in Miami for 2020. Wilson did start to make a case for himself down the stretch, gaining at least 59 yards in each of their last three games. Unfortunately, he hadn’t topped 33 yards in any game before that. Wilson signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent back in 2014, and slowly started to breakout in Kansas City. He’s never produced huge numbers, but the Dolphins placed a huge bet on his potential.

Here’s more from Miami:

  • Speaking of players who might have to take pay-cuts, Jackson writes that Reshad Jones “returning under his current contract is inconceivable.” Jones is due $11.5MM in 2020, but only $2MM of that is guaranteed. Jackson writes that as of right now their plan is to start Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe at safety, but that Jones returning on a “restructured deal isn’t entirely out of the question.” Jones made the Pro Bowl in 2017, but his relationship with the franchise quickly deteriorated and for a while it looked like a divorce was inevitable. He had a falling out with Adam Gase but was apparently able to patch things over with new head coach Brian Flores, and Jones said back in September that he wanted to stay with the Dolphins for the long haul.
  • Another Dolphins starter on the chopping block is center Daniel Kilgore. Kilgore is due a non-guaranteed $3.1MM, and Miami can cut him right before the start of the season with no cap penalty. Jackson expects the team to look for an upgrade at center this offseason, and he points out that GM Chris Grier was recently non-committal about his status. Jackson indicates that the ‘Phins will be completely revamping their O-line this offseason, which isn’t surprising considering the beatings that Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen were taking last year.
  • In case you missed it, the Dolphins are prepared to move up in the draft.

Dolphins Sign C Wesley Johnson

The Dolphins have signed free agent center Wesley Johnson and placed fellow pivot Daniel Kilgore on injured reserve, the club announced today. Miami also promoted defensive tackle Cameron Malveaux and confirmed the previously-reported release of defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.

Johnson, 27, has appeared in 31 games (23 starts) with the Jets over the past two seasons. The 2014 fifth-round pick out of Vanderbilt joined the Lions earlier this offseason, but he was released by the team at the end of the preseason. Since then, Johnson has worked out with the Vikings and Ravens. He auditioned for the Dolphins earlier today, and he’ll know slide in behind Travis Swanson on Miami’s center depth chart.

Kilgore, meanwhile, suffered a torn pectoral in Week 4, so he’d been fully expected to land on injured reserve. While Kilgore is technically eligible to return later this season, the nature of his injury likely means he’s done for the year. Kilgore signed an extension with the 49ers earlier this year, but San Francisco shipped him to Miami after landing free agent center Weston Richburg. He’s signed through the 2020 season, but the Dolphins could opt to release him with no dead money hitting their salary cap.

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Dolphins’ McCain, Kilgore Suffer Injuries

Sunday’s loss to the Patriots was rough, and this Monday isn’t looking any brighter for the Dolphins. The club has learned that cornerback Bobby McCain and center Daniel Kilgore both suffered injuries in Sunday’s 38-7 drumming, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (on Twitter). McCain is dealing with a knee injury while Kilgore has a torn triceps. 

There is no timetable for Kilgore, but a torn triceps is a serious injury with a high risk for a repeat tear if the player is not given enough time to heal properly. Logic dictates that Kilgore is a candidate to go on injured reserve with a chance to return later this year, but we’ll have to wait for more info on that front.

McCain, meanwhile, is expected to miss two or three weeks. The slot specialist is an integral part of Miami’s defense – as evidenced by his four-year, $27MM extension – so the Dolphins are hoping to get him back on the field as soon as possible. At minimum, he’ll miss contests against the Bengals and Bears.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.