KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs as expected played safety Juan Thornhill on injured reserve Tuesday with a torn ACL, ending the rookie's solid rookie season before the team embarks on its playoff run.
The Chiefs filled Thornhill's roster spot by signing offensive lineman Ryan Hunter from the team's practice squad.
Thornhill started all 16 games for the Chiefs, finishing third on the team among defensive players with 1,059 snaps played. He tallied 57 total tackles while his three interceptions rank second on the team behind Tyrann Matheiu. Pro Football Focus credited Thornhill with yielding a passer rating of just 69.9 on throws in his direction, with a 56 percent completion rate.
He suffered the injury on a blitz during the second quarter against the Chargers in Week 17. His left leg appeared to slip as he changed direction. Chiefs Andy Reid last week hoped for a successful recovery for the 24-year-old safety.
“He's had a heck of a year,” Reid. “He's a good football player, has a great future ahead of him. This will slow him down a little bit, but he'll be back and ready to go.”
Hunter signed with the Chiefs in 2018 as a rookie free agent from Bowling Green. He spent all of last season on the club's practice squad. A tackle in college, Hunter played all five offensive line positions for the Chiefs in training camp, but primarily works in the interior at guard and center.
He played three games for the Chiefs earlier this season, including playing 13 snaps at left guard in place an injured Andrew Wylie in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts.