KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Undrafted rookie quarterback Kyle Shurmur will backup starter Matt Moore for the Chiefs this week against Green Bay with a knee injury keeping Patrick Mahomes on the sideline.
The Chiefs promoted Shurmur to the active roster from the practice squad on Tuesday. The club also signed defensive tackle Mike Pennel while releasing wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas and defensive tackle Terrell McClain.
Shurmur signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent from Vanderbilt. His 8,865 passing yards and 64 touchdown passes in his career eclipsed school records previously held by Jay Cutler. During the preseason, Shurmur completed 33-of-56 passing for 316 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. He beat out second-year quarterback Chase Litton for the team's No. 3 quarterback spot during training camp.
Head coach Andy Reid admitted on Monday that Shurmur remains largely an unknown quantity, but believe he's worked hard to earn the promotion.
“He's obviously young and doesn't have a ton of experience, that would be the negative part,” Reid said. “The positive is that when he's had opportunities to play in the preseason he did well. He made the team, which is a big thing.”
The release of Thomas was expected with the team's need for an extra quarterback. The club hope to have receiver Sammy Watkins back this week, which leaves them with five healthy receivers with the departure of Thomas.
Thomas rejoined the Chiefs on Aug. 20 after spending the offseason as a free agent. He served a one-game suspension in Week 1 for violating the NFL's policy on substance abuse, and emerged as primarily a special teams player. He played just 20 offensive snaps and none in the team Week 7 victory at Denver.
The 28-year-old Pennel spent the bulk of his first five season in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers, who the Chiefs face at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday night. The 6-4, 330-pound native of Topeka, Kansas, entered the league as an undrafted free agent from Arizona and Colorado State-Pueblo. He's played 69 games with starts for the Packers and the New York Jets, tallying 102 combined tackles with a sack and 10 quarterback hits.
McClain joined the Chiefs on Oct. 9 in the wake of injuries to tackles Chris Jones and Xavier Williams. He played 26 snaps against Houston and 10 at Denver last week, recording three total tackles with the club.
The Chiefs also re-signed defensive tackle Braxton Hoyett to the practice squad. Hoyett joined the Chiefs practice squad on Oct. 1, but was released last week to clear a spot for wide receiver Gehrig Dieter.