Jerick McKinnon

Final Transactions Before Super Bowl LVIII

FEBRUARY 11: McKinnon is a game time decision, but NFL Network’s James Palmer reports he is expected to play. Sunday’s contest would represent his first action since Week 14, but it would also mark an impressive recovery in relatively short order from his core muscle surgery. McKinnon is a pending free agent, and a strong performance would help his market on another Chiefs deal or one with a new team.

FEBRUARY 10: With the NFL’s season finale taking place tomorrow night, both participants have made their roster moves in anticipation of the biggest game of the year. The 49ers‘ moves are simple as they choose to promote defensive tackles Alex Barrett and T.Y. McGill as standard gameday elevations, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic. The Chiefs will make an elevation, as well, while also choosing to swap out an active roster player for a player off of injured reserve.

[Poll: Who Will Win Super Bowl LVIII?]

The Chiefs standard gameday practice squad elevation will once again be nose tackle Mike Pennel, who has been activated for each of Kansas City’s three playoff victories thus far. In the past, Pennel has been joined by practice squad cornerback Keith Taylor or defensive tackle Matt Dickerson, but it appears Pennel will be the lone practice squad defender activated for tomorrow.

As for the active roster addition, the Chiefs have made the move to officially activate running back Jerick McKinnon off of IR. The veteran rusher has mostly been a non-factor in the Chiefs offense this year but has served a role as the team’s backup pass-catching back. Despite the activation, McKinnon is still listed as questionable going into Sunday night’s game. In order to make room for McKinnon on the active roster, the Chiefs placed All-Pro guard Joe Thuney on IR. Thuney’s status was already known, so clearing him from the active roster should have little consequence at this point.

For San Francisco, Barrett and McGill are expected to be among the seven players listed as inactive for the big game. While this may make the elevations seem trivial, it’s the 49ers way of rewarding the reserve defenders. Elevating Barrett and McGill will provide the two with an additional playoff paycheck before the season ends.

Chiefs Rule Out Joe Thuney For Super Bowl LVIII; Jerick McKinnon Unlikely To Return

FEBRUARY 9: As expected, the Chiefs will not keep anyone in suspense here. Reid’s assessment of Thuney will lead to the Chiefs ruling out their All-Pro left guard two days before Super Bowl LVIII. Kansas City has not ruled out McKinnon yet, but the passing-down back remains in the IR-return window.

FEBRUARY 6: A veteran of four Super Bowls, Joe Thuney is not expected to be in uniform for a fifth Sunday. The pectoral strain the Chiefs’ All-Pro left guard sustained against the Bills is likely to again force the AFC champions to make a substitution.

Andy Reid called Thuney, who picked up his first All-Pro nod this season, a longshot to play in Super Bowl LVIII. The Chiefs initially signed Thuney to help their O-line recover from the Buccaneers’ pass-rushing onslaught in Super Bowl LV; he entered the playoffs having missed only two games in three seasons with the Chiefs. The ex-Patriots draftee, however, appears set to give way to veteran backup Nick Allegretti once again.

[RELATED: Chiefs DE Charles Omenihu Tears ACL]

Part of the Chiefs’ injury-reshaped offensive line the Bucs dominated three years ago, Allegretti returned to a starting role in the Chiefs’ AFC championship game win over the Ravens. Kansas City received strong play from its interior O-line this season, helping the team cover for less consistent work from tackles Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor. ESPN’s pass block win rate metric ranks Thuney first among all interior O-linemen, with center Creed Humphrey and right guard Trey Smith respectively slotted second and fourth.

Thuney, 31, served as a Patriots linchpin during the second leg of their dynasty. New England drafted Thuney in the 2016 third round and plugged him in as a starter immediately. That meant three straight Super Bowl starts. Thuney added a fourth Super Bowl appearance last year, playing alongside Humphrey and Smith in the Chiefs’ narrow win over the Eagles. Thuney landed as the first-team All-Pro left guard this season. Allegretti is a rather experienced backup, however, having played in 15 postseason games since joining the Chiefs as a seventh-round pick in 2019.

Although Jerick McKinnon returned to practice over the weekend, Reid appears pessimistic the passing-down back will be available Sunday. The 11th-year Chiefs HC said (via The Athletic’s Nate Taylor) McKinnon is not practicing and has a slim chance to play. A key part of the Chiefs’ offense over the past three years, McKinnon has not played since Week 15 due to a groin injury. The Chiefs still have until Saturday to activate McKinnon from IR. This would keep the door open to him playing against the 49ers.

Two other pieces are eligible to return as well. The team also designated Skyy Moore and O-lineman Prince Tega Wanogho for return from IR during the playoffs, but neither has been activated. Kansas City has until Wednesday to activate Moore; otherwise, the inconsistent wideout will revert to season-ending IR. The Chiefs still have five IR activations remaining, giving them the flexibility to move all three players in the IR-return window back onto their roster. Though, it remains to be seen if the team is willing to create the necessary roster space.

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.

Chiefs Designate RB Jerick McKinnon For Return

FEBRUARY 5: While McKinnon’s status in practice will be monitored closely, Rapoport notes there is a “very real chance” he is activated in time for the Super Bowl (video link). Signs are certainly pointing toward Kansas City having a full array of backs available on Sunday.

FEBRUARY 3: The Chiefs will be shorthanded in the front seven for Super Bowl LVIII, but they could have added depth in the offensive backfield. Kansas City designated running back Jerick McKinnon for return from injured reserve on Saturday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network notes.

McKinnon was placed on IR in December, a move which guaranteed he would miss the final three weeks of the regular season. A groin injury left him on the sidelines through Kansas City’s three-week postseason run back to the Super Bowl, but the veteran will now be an option to return to the lineup in the event he is activated in time. Kansas City has five activations remaining.

In the 2021 postseason, McKinnon racked up 315 scrimmage yards in three games. His playoff production fell off last year with only 92 total yards, however, and his usage in the 2023 campaign took a step back. The 31-year-old received just 21 carries in 12 contests this season, one in which Isiah Pacheco confirmed his status as the Chiefs’ lead back. McKinnon averaged only 2.9 yards per carry this year, though he did chip in with 192 yards and four touchdowns in the passing game.

A healthy McKinnon would give Kansas City a number of options to choose from in the backfield. The team has, to no surprise, leaned mainly on Pacheco in the playoffs. Former first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire has also been used sparingly, receiving 10 postseason carries to date. After he was a healthy scratch for last year’s Super Bowl, Edwards-Helaire is in line to play in next Sunday’s title game. The Chiefs also have La’Mical Perine available as a special teams contributor.

Kansas City designated wideout Skyy Moore to return in mid-January, and his status will be worth watching in the coming days to see if he will be an option for the Super Bowl. O-lineman Prince Tega Wanogho would also use up one of the team’s remaining activations (and a roster spot) if he were to be brought back into the fold in the near future. At a minimum, though, McKinnon should be able to play next week as he searches for a second career Super Bowl win.

Chiefs Place RB Jerick McKinnon On IR

The Chiefs’ backfield will be shorthanded through the remainder of the regular season. The team announced on Sunday that running back Jerick McKinnon has been placed on injured reserve.

Players moved to IR are forced to miss at least four weeks, meaning McKinnon will be sidelined for Kansas City’s three remaining contests in the regular season. The Chiefs will need to progress to at least the divisional round of the playoffs for the 31-year-old to be eligible to return. That could entail a win in the wild-card round with him out of the lineup, though the defending champions are still in play for the AFC’s No. 1 seed and a first-round bye.

McKinnon missed practice all week due to a groin injury, and he was ruled out today for the team’s Christmas Day contest against the Raiders. Given the subsequent move to IR, though, Kansas City will need to rely more heavily on starter Isiah Pacheco and former first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Losing McKinnon will likely not represent the loss it would have in previous seasons, however.

The Georgia Southern alum has been much less involved in the run game compared to last season, receiving no more than four carries in a game this season. McKinnon’s two most productive games on the ground in 2023 came in the team’s two most recent contests, with only 19 and 11 rushing yards. The former third-rounder has remained a consistent option in the passing game, though, totaling 192 yards and four touchdowns on 25 receptions.

In spite of a career-low 2.9 yards per carry average, McKinnon’s role will thus need replacing in large part by Pacheco and Edwards-Helaire. The Chiefs have filled McKinnon’s roster spot with another option in the backfield, though, signing La’Mical Perine from the practice squad. The latter has made just two appearances in his debut Chiefs campaign, receiving a single carry. Perine’s usage will likely be restricted to special teams duty.

Kansas City currently has six IR activations remaining, although one of those will be needed for wideout Mecole Hardman, who was designated for return earlier this week. McKinnon will look to return to health in time for the postseason after playing a signficant role in the Chiefs’ title run last year.

Chiefs Place WR Mecole Hardman On IR

It looks like the Chiefs may have to wait a little longer to see the dividends from their recent reacquisition of wide receiver Mecole Hardman as they have officially placed their former second-round pick on injured reserve. The move comes after Hardman reportedly sprained his thumb during the team’s loss to the Eagles last week.

Hardman had parted ways with his former team after signing a one-year free agent deal with the Jets. Despite proving to be a strong contributor in Kansas City over his first four seasons, highlighted by his scoring of 18 touchdowns over that time, Hardman struggled to break through the depth chart in New York.

It was understandable that Hardman may slot behind Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, and perhaps even Randall Cobb in the pecking order. It was the preference of head coach Robert Saleh for undrafted rookies like Xavier Gipson and Jason Brownlee that made spelled the doom of Hardman’s time in New York. This had Gang Green searching for a way to offload their offseason signing, eventually agreeing to a deal with Hardman’s former squad.

Unfortunately for Hardman, the fifth-year receiver has continued to struggle to find his role as the Chiefs have retooled their receiving corps. In four games back with his old team, Hardman has only eight catches for 41 yards. Unfortunately for Kansas City, they would still prefer to have him available, especially with wide receiver Kadarius Toney being ruled out of this Sunday’s contest in Las Vegas. Regardless, Hardman will be unavailable for at least the next four weeks.

In addition to placing Hardman on IR, the Chiefs also announced their two practice squad elevations for tomorrow’s clash with the Raiders. Wide receiver Montrell Washington will be called up to try and fill out the receiving corps with the absences of Hardman and Toney. Running back La’Mical Perine will also be called up to fill in for Jerick McKinnon, who has also been ruled out for tomorrow.

Chiefs Re-Sign RB Jerick McKinnon

MAY 2: The Chiefs’ third McKinnon contract is now official, Field Yates of tweets. While it will be interesting to see the terms of this new contract, McKinnon is set to play an age-32 season in 2023.

MAY 1: A third Jerick McKinnon season in Kansas City will be on tap. After making a tremendous impact in the Chiefs’ passing game last season, the veteran running back is in their 2023 plans.

GM Brett Veach had said the team planned on regrouping with the veteran back after the draft,’s James Palmer reports (via Twitter) McKinnon indeed plans to re-sign with the Chiefs. McKinnon intends to ink another Chiefs contract on Tuesday. This pact is set to be finalized a day before McKinnon’s 32nd birthday.

This continues a remarkable turnaround for the former Adrian Peterson Vikings backup. Once on the verge of seeing a severe knee injury end his career, McKinnon has become a valuable contributor for the Chiefs. The former college quarterback did not miss a game last year and enjoyed the best receiving season of his career, catching 56 passes for 512 yards and nine touchdowns. Not only catching two more touchdown passes in a season than any other back in Chiefs history, McKinnon also set a post-merger NFL running back record by catching a TD pass in six straight games.

The 49ers gave McKinnon a four-year, $30MM deal in 2018; Kyle Shanahan saw the ex-Vikings third-round pick as a key passing-game piece. An ACL tear just before the 2018 season led to McKinnon missing all of the 2018 and ’19 campaigns. The 49ers reached a reworked deal with the resilient back in 2020, and during a San Francisco injury avalanche, McKinnon played all 16 games that season. That set the table for McKinnon’s Chiefs run.

Kansas City reached one-year deals with McKinnon in 2021 and ’22. Both have been veteran-minimum accords. McKinnon played last season for $1.27MM. It will be interesting to see if the Chiefs reward McKinnon for his contributions, or if the grim market for veteran backs leads to another bottom-level agreement. While McKinnon played a vital role in Kansas City’s latest Super Bowl-winning season, a number of productive running backs settled for one-year deals south of $3MM. D’Onta ForemanDamien Harris and Devin Singletary joined ex-McKinnon 49ers teammates Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson in signing one-year contracts at $3MM or less.

McKinnon has helped the Chiefs recover from their Clyde Edwards-Helaire draft mistake. The Chiefs, who had used Damien Williams as their primary post-Kareem Hunt solution during their 2019 Super Bowl-winning season, turned to Edwards-Helaire after the veteran’s COVID-19 opt-out. The Chiefs released Williams in 2021 and ended up deploying McKinnon as their primary playoff back. McKinnon teamed with 2022 seventh-round pick Isiah Pacheco as the Chiefs’ stretch-run options; CEH was a Super Bowl LVII healthy scratch. McKinnon played 30 offensive snaps in the Super Bowl.

While Edwards-Helaire’s first-round contract runs through 2023, this latest McKinnon agreement looks set to greenlight more of the Pacheco-McKinnon tandem as the Chiefs begin their title defense.

Chiefs To Discuss Jerick McKinnon Deal After Draft

It took the Chiefs and Jerick McKinnon until June last year before another contract agreement emerged. A third Kansas City McKinnon pact might end up coming around the same juncture.

The productive pass-catching back remains unsigned, sitting out a market that produced a host of low-cost deals in March. But the Chiefs still have McKinnon in their 2023 plans. Praising the team’s two-year contributor, GM Brett Veach said (via The Athletic’s Nate Taylor) Thursday they plan to begin discussions with the veteran after the draft.

McKinnon, who will turn 32 next month, has managed to go from two straight full-season absences (2018-19) to staying mostly healthy in Kansas City over the past two seasons. The former Vikings draftee did not miss a game last year and enjoyed the best receiving season of his career, catching 56 passes for 512 yards and nine touchdowns. Not only catching two more touchdown passes in a season than any other back in Chiefs history, McKinnon also set a post-merger NFL running back record by catching a TD pass in six straight games.

The Chiefs have relied on McKinnon in each of the past two postseasons. Last season, he and rookie Isiah Pacheco formed a quality tandem — each attached to league-minimum deals — while Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a healthy scratch in Super Bowl LVII. McKinnon logged a 47% offensive snap rate last season, being featured far more often in Andy Reid‘s offense compared to his 2021 debut.

It will be interesting to see if the Chiefs offer the nine-year veteran much of a raise. This year’s running back market led to a few starter-level backs — D’Onta Foreman, Damien Harris, Devin Singletary — signing one-year deals for less than $3MM. Of course, McKinnon played for $1.2MM last season and $1MM in 2021. While his performance warrants a raise, the market has not been kind to veteran backs this offseason. Given Pacheco’s success from a seventh-round draft slot, the Chiefs’ backfield situation may also change in the upcoming draft

Should McKinnon re-sign with the Chiefs after the draft, he will join Cordarrelle Patterson as the only 32-year-old running backs under contract. Raheem Mostert is the only 31-year-old back under contract, having re-signed with the Dolphins last month. The Chiefs have Pacheco signed through 2025, and Edwards-Helaire is likely going into a contract year. While Veach did not indicate which way the team was leaning regarding CEH’s fifth-year option, it should not be expected the defending Super Bowl champions will exercise that by the May deadline.

Chiefs To Re-Sign RB Jerick McKinnon

Jerick McKinnon‘s renewed run of health enabled the veteran running back to play a key role for the Chiefs during their playoff run. Not long after the perennial AFC West champions lost Darrel Williams in free agency, they are bringing back McKinnon.

The eight-year veteran is re-signing with Kansas City, Jeremy Fowler of tweets. The sides agreed on a one-year deal Monday. This news comes days before the Chiefs convene for their mandatory minicamp.

[RELATED: Cardinals, Darrel Williams Agree To Deal]

Although McKinnon famously missed all of the 2018 and ’19 seasons, after he had signed a high-end running back deal with the 49ers, he has been healthy for most of the past two. The Chiefs, added McKinnon on a one-year, veteran-minimum deal in 2021, only gave him 25 touches during the regular season. But they leaned on the backup in the playoffs, dialing up 48 touches in their three-game January slate.

McKinnon totaled 315 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in games against the Steelers, Bills and Bengals, seeing more time in the backfield than starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire did, though the first-stringer was returning from another injury — one that kept him out of the team’s wild-card game.

Kansas City has Edwards-Helaire back, and the team reached an agreement with former Tampa Bay back Ronald Jones months ago. The Chiefs used a seventh-round pick on running back Isiah Pacheco, signed two UDFA backs and have ERFA Derrick Gore on their roster. McKinnon, who turned 30 in May, may be set for another niche role in Andy Reid‘s offense.

The 49ers gave the former college quarterback and ex-Adrian Peterson backup a four-year, $30MM deal in 2018. At the time, that doubled as a top-five running back contract. But an ACL tear that year sidelined McKinnon for two seasons, the second coming after the injury did not properly heal. After a 2020 restructure, McKinnon returned to action and played all 16 San Francisco games. He totaled 572 scrimmage yards and scored six touchdowns for an otherwise injury-ransacked 49ers backfield.

While McKinnon did miss four regular-season games with the Chiefs, due to a late-season hamstring injury, his postseason availability proved key for a team that saw Edwards-Helaire miss time with separate maladies. The Chiefs keeping him around as additional CEH insurance makes sense.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/1/22

The first minor moves of 2022:

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