Chiefs sign LB Orie Lemon to practice squad

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs signed a familiar name to replace linebacker Nico Johnson, who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday.

Johnson, the Chiefs’ fourth-round pick in 2013, was signed to the Chiefs practice squad before the start of the regular season after being waived on Aug. 30. The Bengals signed Johnson to its active roster.

“We wish him the best of luck there,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “It’s an opportunity for him to make their roster and have the opportunity to play.”

The Chiefs filled Johnson’s former spot on the practice squad with the signing of linebacker Orie Lemon, who spent time on the Chiefs roster during the 2013 offseason.

The 6-1, 242-pound Lemon originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State with the Dallas Cowboys.

He was with the Chiefs during the 2013 offseason before being released. Lemon eventually returned to the Cowboys where he spent the 2014 training camp before Dallas waived him with an injury designation in late August.

“He’ll be on the practice squad and work there,” Reid said of Lemon.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s departure signals the Chiefs have cut ties with two members of the 2013 draft class. The Chiefs released fullback Braden Wilson, a sixth-round pick, in late August 2013.

As for Johnson, Reid called the former Alabama star a “good football player,” but didn’t offer much information as to why Johnson couldn’t catch on.

“By numbers it just didn’t work out,” Reid said. “I mean, I’d probably leave it at that.”