KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs face a roster decision Monday afternoon on offensive lineman Kyle Long, who must be placed on the active 53-player roster or shut down for the season by 3. p.m. central time.
Long started the season on the physically unable to perform list after suffering a tibial plateau fracture during an offseason OTA workout in June. The club designated Long to return to practice on Nov. 9, which opened a 21-day window during which he could work out with the team. That period ends Monday.
Head coach Andy Reid said Long did what was necessary to get back on the field this season.
“He’s worked his tail off during his recovery time here,” Reid said. “We’ll see how all of that goes here. We’re sorting through all of that today. I appreciate having him here and doing what he’s been doing too and how he’s handled everything.”
Long, who turns 33 on Sunday, signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs worth $1.5 million that included incentives worth up to $2 million. Injuries limited Long to just 12 total games in the 2018-19 seasons, and he initially retired after the 2019 campaign before joining the Chiefs in March.
Long jumped in as the starter at right guard during the offseason program. Trey Smith took over at the position following Long’s injury. The rookie has entrenched himself since then, starting all 11 games at right guard. Long is also viewed as potential depth at right tackle, although he hasn’t taken snaps there in a regular-season game since 2015.
The Chiefs currently carry nine offensive lineman on the active roster. Right tackle Lucas Niang has missed the last two games with a rib injury, although Reid indicate on Monday he’s close to returning to action.
“He’s making good progress prior to the bye,” Reid said. “I’ll get a report today on him, so I think there’s a chance he’s ready. I can’t tell you until I see him.”
The club also has lineman Mike Remmers on injured reserve, who is eligible to return to practice as early as next week if cleared by the club’s medical staff. The Chiefs’ 53-player active roster is full with the return of wide receiver Marcus Kemp from the COVID-19 list, a source confirmed to Chiefs Digest.
Reid said the decision to active Long or shut him down rests with general manager Brett Veach and the club’s medical staff.
“We’ll make the decision, and I leave that up to Brett, doctors and that,” Reid said. “But we’ll make that decision here today.”