Among the many changes to NFL offenses over recent decades has been the long, slow decline of the fullback position. Chiefs coach Andy Reid recognizes that.
The Chiefs let fullback Michael Burton leave for the Broncos in free agency this offseason, and Reid said the Chiefs won’t be bringing in a fullback to replace him. An extra tight end would be more likely to take up the fullback’s roster spot.
“The tight ends can work into that spot,” Reid said, via the Kansas City Star. “We know Noah [Gray] can do all of that, and that’s kind of where we went with it. We’ve got a number of tight ends that we feel comfortable with, so maybe you keep an extra tight end as opposed to that fullback.”
Reid previously said on Jason and Travis Kelce‘s podcast that “the fullback has kind of been eased out of the game a little bit.”
With NFL rules like the new fair catch rule on kickoffs reducing the importance of blocking on special teams, fullbacks will also lose some of their value there, as most teams that carry a fullback on the roster use him regularly to block on kickoff returns. The fullback is becoming an endangered species.