Has Chiefs WR Daurice Fountain done enough to earn a roster spot?

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Daurice Fountain was about as far away from a roster spot as he could possibly be back in May when he was invited to try out at rookie minicamp. Since signing with the Kansas City Chiefs following that tryout, Fountain has impressed every step of the way.

A former fifth-round draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 by the way of the University of Northern Iowa, Fountain saw a steady build-up at training camp. He surprised the coaching staff, earning repetitions with the second-team offense after continued hard work.

In the preseason, the story has been no different. Through two games, the 6-1 and 210-pound wideout has been the Chiefs’ leading receiver, catching 7-of-9 passes for 92 yards. The 25-year-old has looked the part too, boasting size, speed, toughness and burst off the line of scrimmage.

Ask any Chiefs fan what they think about Fountain’s performance and they’d tell you that he’s a shoo-in for a roster spot. The reality, however, is that little has been decided with one game left to play.

“A guy like Fountain, he’s got to try and impress on everything he does,” Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub said on Tuesday. “He’s got to, obviously, show up on special teams a little bit more, I mean that’ll help him. But he’s done such a good job on offense. I’m not saying he’s a shoo— he’s one of those guys that’s battling. He’s a bubble guy and those guys are fighting for a spot and there’s a lot of competition on this team.”

The receiver position is one of the most competitive on the roster, with 11 of the 80 players left on the offseason roster playing the position. With most of the top spots already written in ink, Fountain will have to make the absolute most of his opportunities in all phases of the game. Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy is someone who believes that Fountain has gone about things the right way.

“Daurice (Fountain) is one of those kids who doesn’t want to take anything for granted,” Bieniemy said. “The only Daurice wants to know is what can he do better? The biggest thing that Coach Joe Bleymaier, myself and Coach Reid have all talked to him about is just making sure that he can fine-tune three little aspects of his game each and every day. The kid works hard and on top of that, he’s a smart player. And then, obviously, you’ve seen the fruits of his labor because what he has done in practice is showing up on game day and we see it each and every day. And it’s because he’s invested in himself and invested in that playbook. And when he has an opportunity to go up and make that play, he just goes up and makes it. The kid is a great kid. I’m proud of the things that he’s done so far and we’re just going to keep evaluating him.”

With the preseason wrapping up, Fountain could get his fewest snaps with starters set to play in extended time. Even if his opportunities are limited, count him among the many players who need a strong showing against the Minnesota Vikings.

“I think everybody needs to have a good showing,” Toub explained. “There are guys that you might think are easy ins right now, but they’re still fighting. It’s not over. The decision is not made until this last game is done and we get down to 53. They’ve got to keep fighting, everybody. There are a lot of positions that are still open right now and special teams will have something to do with it, but offense and defense mostly.”

Fountain knows that he must continue to take advantage of his reps in order to showcase his skills. He said as much following his preseason Week 1 breakout. The Chiefs have helped instill the right mentality in Fountain, but now it’s about going out, executing and interviewing for his new job one more time.

“One thing that we express to all these guys. . . I always remind them, there’s an imaginary sign outside of that door,” Bieniemy said. “That imaginary sign says, ‘Hiring all applicants.’ I remind them, ‘Every single day that you’re in this building, make sure that you’re interviewing for a job.’ So if you’re interviewing for a job, guess what? If you’re good enough, you’re going to make it. On top of that, if you put the right stuff on tape, you’ll have an opportunity to make it somewhere else.”

One thing is for certain, if Fountain doesn’t make the 53-man roster in Kansas City, it won’t be for a lack of showing up during preseason games.

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