8 Chiefs players who finished the season on injured reserve

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Charles Goldman
·5 min read
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The Kansas City Chiefs had a number of players finish the season on injured reserve or the practice squad injured list. For some of those players, the future in Kansas City looks bright. For others, the injury could mark the end of their time with the team. Each player has a different outlook for the future depending upon their contract status and their specific injury.

Below you’ll find a quick breakdown of the future outlook for each of the eight Chiefs players who finished the season on injured reserve:

CB Alex Brown

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Status: Exclusive rights free agent Injury: Torn ACL Outlook: Brown was the first major injury suffered by the Chiefs this year. He tore his ACL back in training camp and was placed on injured reserve ahead of the start of the 2020 NFL season. If you don't remember Brown, he was a key special teams contributor and cornerback depth during the 2019 Super Bowl LIV run. He should be well along in his recovery and the Chiefs will have the ability to re-sign him as an ERFA if they so choose.

DE Taco Charlton

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Status: Unrestricted free agent Injury: Fractured ankle Outlook: Charlton was just coming on for the Chiefs as a dime-package rusher when he suffered an ankle fracture that took him out for the remainder of the season. He's since had surgery to repair the ankle fracture and there seems to be some interest on his end in a reunion with Kansas City. They could opt to bring him back on a similar one-year prove-it contract, assuming his ankle is healing properly and he'll be ready for the 2021 season.

LT Eric Fisher

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Status: Under contract through 2021 Injury: Torn Achilles Outlook: Fisher suffered this injury during the AFC Championship Game and he's already had surgery to repair the injury. Rehab and recovery for Achilles injuries have pretty high variance in the NFL. It can take anywhere from eight months to a year, but for heavier players like offensive and defensive linemen, recovery tends to take longer. That leaves a big cloud of doubt around Fisher's status heading into next season and his future with the team. The Chiefs have a decision to make on Fisher as they can save around $12 million by releasing or trading him. Extending Fisher is also an option to save money with his availability for 2021 in doubt.

LB Willie Gay Jr.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Status: Under contract through 2023 Injury: Torn meniscus Outlook: The Chiefs' standout rookie linebacker had his season abruptly ended when he suffered a torn meniscus during practice leading up to Super Bowl LV. The recovery time on Gay's specific injury seems to put him right on track to be ready by the middle of training camp. He should be good to go and hopefully able to take on a bigger role by the start of the 2021 NFL season.

LG Kelechi Osemele

AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

Status: Unrestricted free agent Injury: Torn tendons in both knees Outlook: This was one of the more brutal injuries of the season. Osemele tore tendons in both of his knees in a very apparent non-contact injury during Week 5 against the Las Vegas Raiders. He has since posted videos on his Instagram page of him back in the Chiefs' facility and working out. He was also spotted working with the training staff during practice late in the season. So he seems to be well along in his recovery. It's unclear the type of financial commitment Kansas City would be willing to make in 2021 given his injury and free-agent status.

RT Mitchell Schwartz

AP Photo/Peter Joneleit

Status: Under contract through 2021 Injury: Back Outlook: Schwartz recently posted an update with his "end of season thoughts." He dealt with a mysterious back injury this season that went from being a day-to-day type of injury to later landing him on injured reserve for the remainder of the year. Right now, there's very little known about his injury other than it being an issue with his back. He seems to indicate that he's still working toward getting healthy and returning to football, but there's no clarity on what that looks like or how long it'll take. Like Fisher, Schwartz is in the final year of his contract. The Chiefs can save $6.2 million with his release.

CB DeAndre Baker

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Status: Signed reserve/future contract for 2021 Injury: Fractured left femur Outlook: Baker suffered a non-contact leg injury in Week 17. It was described as a "clean break" to his left femur. He's already had surgery to repair the injury and was actually back in the Chiefs' facility and moving around the day after. He was placed on the practice squad injured list, which is basically injured reserve for the practice squad. It sounds like this is something that he should be able to bounce back from and that he'll be ready to start the season. The team has already signed him to a reserve/future contract, locking him up for the 2021 NFL season.

LB Emmanuel Smith

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Status: Signed reserve/future contract for 2021 Injury: Hamstring Outlook: Smith was a standard elevation from the practice squad in Week 15 against the New Orleans Saints. He suffered what Andy Reid described as a "tweaked hamstring." Well, this must have been one of the more severe "tweaks" because it knocked Smith out for the remainder of the year. He was placed on the practice squad injured list and never was activated from it. The team also signed him to a reserve/future deal as he's a core special teamer and solid depth for the future.

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