Isiah Pacheco

Chiefs Activate WR Skyy Moore, Place DE Charles Omenihu On IR

As the Chiefs continue to prepare for their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance (their fourth in five years) and attempt to become the first team to win consecutive Super Bowls since the Patriots did it in the ’03 and ’04 seasons, the team continues to tinker with its roster. Today’s adjustment saw Kansas City activate wide receiver Skyy Moore off of injured reserve and place defensive end Charles Omenihu on IR in his place.

After a fairly pedestrian rookie season last year, Moore was expected to take on a bigger role in his sophomore campaign. Unfortunately, Moore was only barely outpacing his rookie numbers when he suffered a knee injury in a Week 15 victory in New England that would land him on IR and force him to miss the remainder of the regular season.

After the team’s Wild Card win over the Dolphins, Kansas City opened the young wide out’s 21-day practice window, allowing him to return in time for the Super Bowl if possible. Today was the last possible day that the Chiefs were able to activate him off of IR. Moore was a full participant in practice today, so he should be able to step in as a second-string receiver should things continue to trend in the right direction.

Omenihu, third on the team in sacks this season (7.0), suffered a torn ACL in the Chiefs’ AFC Championship win over the Ravens. With his season officially over, it was only a matter of time before he found himself on IR. As it turns out, Kansas City was waiting until it could add a new name to the active roster in his place. The injury means Omenihu will miss a grudge match against his former team on the biggest stage possible.

As for the rest of the Chiefs’ injury report, all but two players were full participants at today’s practice, meaning running back Isiah Pacheco and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, who both were limited participants for most of the week before the AFC title game, are in better shape heading into the season finale. Today’s sole limited participant was running back Jerick McKinnon, who has served as the team’s second receiving back throughout the season.

The only non-participant at today’s practice was first-team All-Pro guard Joe Thuney. Thuney missed the team’s win in Baltimore with a pectoral injury and isn’t expected to make a comeback this weekend. Head coach Andy Reid told reporters that he “would probably bet towards (Nick) Allegretti playing” in the Super Bowl, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. Allegretti made his second start of the season a week and a half ago as an injury replacement for Thuney and is expected to make his third on Sunday.

NFL Injury Rumors: Holland, Dillon, Pacheco, Miller, Elam

Injuries aren’t anything to keep Dolphins safety Jevon Holland down for long. The third-year starter has missed three games this season (the most he’s missed in his short carer) while dealing with reported knee injuries. According to an interview Holland did with Adam Beasley of Pro Football Network, the Dolphins defender has been dealing with two MCL sprains.

A single MCL sprain is enough to force many players to sit out multiple games, as those knee ligament injuries are not meant to be dealt with lightly. Regardless, Holland wants to be through with missing time, telling Beasley that “he’s optimistic about playing this week.” With the team’s other starting safety DeShon Elliott out this week after suffering a concussion in Miami’s surprising loss to the Titans on Monday, the defense would be glad to return Holland to the field.

Here are a few other injury rumors from around the NFL:

  • Packers running back A.J. Dillon has already been asked to step into a starting role with Aaron Jones out for the past three weeks. Green Bay may be down another rusher as Dillon reportedly suffered a broken thumb in the team’s loss to the Giants on Monday night, per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. Like Holland, Dillon isn’t one to miss time with an injury. The only games he’s missed in his career were due to COVID-19 during his rookie year. That being said, he’s never played with a broken thumb. He’s listed as questionable heading into the weekend, but Dillon is trying to figure out if he can play through the injury. The biggest issue comes with the fact that opposing teams will know of the injury and attempts to punch out fumbles could lead to further harm.
  • Isiah Pacheco has only missed one game since taking over as the Chiefs‘ starting running back in Week 2, sitting out for last week’s loss to the Bills. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, head coach Andy Reid reported that Pacheco underwent “a clean up procedure on his shoulder” that will force him to miss this weekend’s matchup with the Patriots, as well. Reid expects that Pacheco should be able to return after that.
  • Yet another running back, Saints rookie rusher Kendre Miller has missed the team’s past four games with an ankle injury and is scheduled to miss a fifth straight game this weekend. NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill believes that we haven’t seen the last of Miller this season. While the TCU-product may not be back immediately after this week’s game, Underhill thinks a Week 17 appearance in Tampa Bay could be in the cards for the 21-year-old.
  • Lastly, it’s safe to say that we haven’t seen the best from Bills second-year cornerback Kaiir Elam in his sophomore season. 2023 has been an injury-riddled year for the Florida-product as he’s only made an appearance in three games this year, the most recent of which only saw him on special teams. According to Ryan O’Halloran of The Buffalo News, Elam reportedly tore an ankle ligament prior to the start of the regular season. While he did sit out the team’s first four contests, Elam’s Week 5 return apparently saw him attempting to play through the injury without it being healed due to injuries to Tre’Davious White and Christian Benford in the team’s Week 4 win over the Dolphins. The injury would eventually push him onto injured reserve at the start of November. He’s since been designated to return from IR. If he isn’t able to return by shortly after Christmas, Elam will remain on IR for the rest of the year.

Chiefs Place S Bryan Cook On IR

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.

[RELATED: Chiefs Activate Nick Bolton 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.

Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco Expects To Be Healthy By Week 1

Isiah Pacheco entered his rookie season with tempered expectations, but by the Super Bowl he was the Chiefs’ lead early-down running back. His health status has thus been one to watch over the course of the offseason.

Pacheco missed minicamp and OTAs while recovering from shoulder and hand surgeries, after being able to play through those ailments without missing any regular or postseason game action. The seventh-rounder has not yet been cleared to return to full practice, but he is optimistic he will be at 100% in time for the start of the regular season.

“I trust the staff and we were able to work out a plan,” the 24-year-old said about his current recovery situation. “I’m feeling great right now. It’s just a process and that takes time” (h/t ESPN’s Adam Teicher).

Pacheco took part in a limited capacity in a minicamp held by the Chiefs ahead of training camp, doing so while wearing a non-contact uniform. He thus has a long way to go before being cleared in full to return to the lineup, but it will be a welcomed development for Kansas City when that takes place. The Rutgers product is in line for another heavy workload in Year 2.

With former first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire missing seven games during the regular season and being made a healthy scratch for the Super Bowl, both Pacheco and pass-catching veteran Jerick McKinnon saw an uptick in usage. The latter scored 10 total touchdowns (including nine through the air), earning him a third Kansas City contract. The former ran for 830 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season, on an average 4.9 yards per carry. The latter figure rose to 5.1 during the postseason.

The Chiefs elected not to sign or draft another back this offseason, but they declined Edwards-Helaire’s fifth-year option. That will make his 2023 performance one to watch closely as he approaches free agency and the team looks to find the ideal balance of snap shares between their three contributors. Pacheco will no doubt have a signficant role come the fall, though, especially since he is likely to be healed in full by that point.