The Kansas City Chiefs could again find themselves putting in a waiver claim for a running back.
Last week, the Chiefs were among the four teams to attempt to claim former Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin on waivers. They were unsuccessful in their attempt, which came before Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 11.
Heading into Week 12, Kansas City will have some options to weigh at the running back position. It all starts with Edwards-Helaire’s status. If he needs to be placed on injured reserve, that opens up a number of possibilities. One of those possibilities is that they could stick with Ronald Jones, who has been a healthy scratch in all 10 games this season, as their No. 3 running back.
Another option is that the Chiefs could choose to place a waiver claim on one of the recently-released veteran running backs. On Monday, the Broncos waived starting RB Melvin Gordon. On Tuesday, the Rams waived RB Darrell Henderson Jr., who has started nearly 30 games for them over the past four seasons.
I expect the Chiefs to avoid Gordon, despite his relative success playing Kansas City in recent years. He has 26 fumbles in 108 NFL starts across his career with the Chargers and Broncos. That basically amounts to having a fumble in a fourth of his NFL starts. Andy Reid doesn’t stand for turnovers, so I’d expect that Gordon will be out of the running for the Chiefs.
Henderson, however, makes much more sense for Kansas City and it’s not just because they’re playing Los Angeles in Week 12. Rams Wire’s Cam DaSilva described Henderson as “a good one-cut guy who is also a very capable receiver.” Sounds familiar? That’s because Henderson’s skill set is similar to that of Edwards-Helaire. He also has experience as a third-down back, working as a pass blocker. He has two pressures allowed this season, including one sack in 39 pass-blocking snaps according to PFF. As a receiver out of the backfield, Henderson has 66 receptions for nearly 500 yards and four touchdowns in his career.
A player like Henderson wouldn’t just help replace the loss of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but he could legitimately back up a veteran like Jerick McKinnon, who has become a vital part of the team’s offense as their third-down back. It also doesn’t hurt that Henderson has Super Bowl experience either.
While the fit is nice, fate is in the hands of the NFL’s waiver system. They’re going to be low on the priority, so any number of teams could swoop in and place a successful claim ahead of Kansas City.