KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Linebacker Dee Ford joined the growing list of veteran Chiefs sitting out during the team’s voluntary organized training activities.
Ford appeared during the first four workouts but did not join the team on the field for practice Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
Coach Andy Reid issue a strong rebuke for fans and media placing any emphasis on veterans missing the voluntary workouts.
“Voluntary camp, man,” Reid said.
The coach alluded to NFL rules that only require teams to open one out of every three OTA practices to the media. The Chiefs open all 10 of their OTA practices to credentialed media members.
“If I get pummeled on who’s here and not here, we’ll just do the one,” Reid said. “We come out here, we give you every day you can talk to these guys. Don’t worry about all that. It’s a voluntary camp. That’s how I’m going to answer it every time you ask. Understand that.”
Ford joins linebacker Justin Houston, safety Eric Berry and cornerback Marcus Peters on the list of veterans missing OTA practices. Neither Houston nor Berry have attended any of the workouts.
Tight end Demetrius Harris returned to the field Thursday after missing the last two practices.
With Derrick Johnson and Dadi Nicolas rehabilitating injuries and Tamba Hali also observing from the sidelines, the Chiefs suddenly lack depth during OTAs at outside linebacker.
The Chiefs had just four linebackers on the field Thursday. Veteran Frank Zombo was joined by Earl Okine, Reshard Cliett and Marcus Rush.
Okine spent much of the 2016 season on the Chiefs practice squad. The team claimed Cliett off waivers from Tennessee last month, and signed Rush as a free agent this week.