Does re-signing of Jerick McKinnon complete Kansas City Chiefs’ running back room?
The Kansas City Chiefs officially re-signed veteran RB Jerick McKinnon on Tuesday, bringing him back for his third consecutive season.
Last year, McKinnon was particularly effective down the stretch as a receiving back, finishing the year with 56 catches on over 70 targets for 512 yards and nine touchdowns. He even managed six consecutive games with a receiving touchdown, which was good for an NFL record by a running back.
With McKinnon returning to the fold, it begs the question: Are the Chiefs done at the running back position?
From a skill-set perspective, it feels like the team has everything they need. They now have McKinnon, Isiah Pacheco, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, La’Mical Perine and undrafted free agent RB Deneric Prince under contract for the upcoming season, but will that be enough? Obviously, we know that Andy Reid will take a gander at fullback options during the team’s rookie minicamp. But do they need another body competing at the running back position this offseason?
During the course of the Patrick Mahomes era, the Chiefs have never had a single running back who has played 50% or more of the team’s offensive snaps in a single season. This is due to a variety of reasons, but it’s mostly due to the fact that the position is prone to injuries. Spencer Ware’s injury gave way to Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy in 2019. Then there was Darrel Williams and Le’Veon Bell in 2020, with an injury to Williams in 2021 eventually leading to McKinnon’s resurgence.
Edwards-Helaire has missed extended chunks of time during his NFL career. McKinnon has an extensive injury history and even missed some time during his first season with the team. While Pacheco looks slated for the team’s No. 1 role, it’s only a matter of time before he misses time given his penchant for seeking out contact.
It feels like another veteran addition in the coming weeks after OTAs and mandatory minicamp could be exactly what the team needs to solidify the group heading into July and the 2023 NFL preseason. Last season, the team ran with four running backs on the 53-man roster. Given the injury history of Edwards-Helaire and McKinnon, it might be wise to do so again this season.
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