Chiefs sign OT Bryan Witzmann to practice squad

Charles Goldman
·2 min read

The Kansas City Chiefs have signed a player they’re familiar with to the practice squad.

Offensive tackle Bryan Witzmann was in Kansas City to visit the team over the weekend and the visit must have gone well. On Tuesday, the team officially signed Witzmann to the practice squad according to the NFL’s official transaction report. The team cleared a spot on the practice squad for Witzmann yesterday, releasing fan-favorite QB Jordan Ta’amu.

Witzmann, of course, formerly played for the Chiefs after he was claimed off of waivers by the team in 2016. The 30-year-old offensive lineman spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Kansas City, appearing in 27 regular-season games. He started 13 games at left guard for the team in 2017, blocking for Kareem Hunt and pass-protecting for Alex Smith. Witzmann made the initial 53-man roster in Kansas City ahead of the 2018 season but was released when the team claimed Austin Reiter off of waivers.

Why did the Chiefs opt to bring back Witzmann, though? Injuries to Kelechi Osemele and Mitchell Schwartz have the Chiefs thin on offensive line depth. Tackle is specifically an area of concern and Witzmann has the versatility to play both tackle and guard.

Another problem is the practice squad rules for standard elevation. Kansas City looks poised to elevate Danny Isidora to the active roster for a second-straight week. Isidora would no longer be allowed to be elevated to the 53-man roster in this manner after this week. If the team wanted to have him available on game day, they’d have to sign him to the 53-man roster and release him subsequently, subjecting him to waivers. Adding a player like Witzmann gives the Chiefs flexibility in that regard.

This signing also could signal something about the status of OT Martinas Rankin, who is practicing for Kansas City but hasn’t yet been activated from the PUP list. Rankin suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2019 and is now on the second week of his practice window.

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