KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs made yet a third roster move ahead of Saturday’s Wild Card matchup against the Tennessee Titans, signing free agent defensive tackle Stefan Charles and sending cornerback Phillip Gaines to season-ending injured reserve.
Charles adds depth along the defensive line, which the club suddenly finds tested with injuries. Defensive linemen Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Jarvis Jenkins both sat out practice on Tuesday. Nunez-Roches sprained his ankle against Denver, while Jenkins had a swollen knee.
Both players have had significant roles in the defense down the stretch. Nunez-Roches started 11 games for the team this season, while Jenkins played an increasing role in the team’s rotation during the second half of the season.
The 29-year-old Charles from Oshawa, Canada was the 10th overall pick in the 2013 Canadian Football League but eschewed the CFL for a chance in the NFL. He spent training camp with the Tennessee Titans in 2013 before joining their practice squad.
Charles later that year joined the Buffalo Bills, where he spent three seasons as a backup defensive tackle. He played 37 games for the Bills, racking up 36 tackles and five sacks. He spent last season in a reserve role the Detroit Lions.
Gaines suffered a dislocated elbow in Sunday’s season finale against the Broncos. His heading to injured reserve may end a roller coaster experience in Kansas City for the 26-year-old defensive back.
Gaines showed promise during his rookie campaign as a third-round pick from Rice, playing 13 games with five starts. He entered the 2015 season as a starter.
A torn ACL, however, ended his season after three games. The knee continued to plague Gaines throughout last season, forcing him in and out of the lineup. He played 11 games with five starts at right cornerback, collecting career highs with seven passes broken up, two forced fumbles and the lone interception of his career.
Gaines started the 2017 season as a backup, but later started three games as the Chiefs tried to shore up a leaky secondary. But Gaines appeared to fall from favor late in the season, appearing as a healthy scratch in weeks 15 and 16.
The four-year cornerback is in the last year of his rookie contract paying him a base salary of $700,000 this season with a cap hit of $855,778.