By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
The Kansas City Chiefs were back in St. Joseph Monday to begin their final week of training camp.
It was a partly sunny, cool and breezy morning with temperatures right around 70 to begin practice. It was also one of the lighter crowds of camp thus far, but it's not unusual for Monday morning.
Kansas City played its first preseason game at Chicago Saturday, with the Bears prevailing 19-14. Head coach Andy Reid says the goal, as one would expect, is to win every game.
While that wasn’t achieved, Reid was pleased with what he saw for the most part.
"I like the experience the young guys got," Reid said. "We'll keep giving these guys some experience here with these preseason games. I think that's important."
The game was an important opportunity for the Chiefs' rookies and other young players trying to make the roster. It's hard to ream a whole lot from Saturday, as there was different personnel on the field quite often, and nobody played for super long stretches.
Yet, lots of eyes were on the rookies - primarily running back Isiah Pacheco, defensive end George Karlaftis, corners Joshua Williams, Jaylen Watson and Trent McDuffie and receiver Skyy Moore.
Again, a lot of guys showed flashes. Karlaftis had a first half sack. Moore had three total catches. Williams a solo stop, and so on. Reid says the preseason will continue to be a great learning opportunity for all of them.
"You have an opportunity to see what their talents are," Reid continued. "At the same time, they have to be able to, in that 30 or so seconds, figure out what the play is, get up and go and perform at a high level."
Kansas City has a preseason game at home against Washington this Saturday at 3 p.m. central. They'll also host Green Bay on Thursday, August 25 at 7 p.m.
The NFL deadline for the first roster cuts is Tuesday, and the Chiefs took their first step toward getting the roster down from 90-85 players.
Just as practice was getting started Monday, the Chiefs announced via Twitter that corner Lonnie Johnson, receivers Omar Bayless and Gary Jennings and offensive tackle Evin Ksiezarcyk were cut from the roster.
They also made official the signing of defensive tackle Danny Shelton - an eight-year pro who is a load, standing 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 345 pounds. Reid mentioned that Shelton got some decent work done in his first training camp practice with the team.
"He's a big body that's a good athlete," Reid said of Shelton. "He's had a lot of good downs in this league. He was out there and (general manager Brett Veach) wanted to add a little more in there. So, he brought (Shelton) in. I think it's a good addition."
The Chiefs will have to cut two more players by 3 p.m. central this Tuesday, and then five more after that by August 23. The final, 53-man active roster must be decided by August 30.
Tight end Blake Bell suffered a hip flexor injury in the game Saturday. He was not at practice Monday. There's not yet a prediction on when he might be back.
Kicker Harrison Butker left practice early due to ankle soreness, so safety Justin Reid kicked field goals Monday, knocking in 7-of-8 from inside 40 yards. Reid successfully made a point-after just before halftime Saturday.
Punter Tommy Townsend was absent Monday due to family reasons. Right tackle Lucas Niang (knee) is the only player still on the physically unable to perform list.
The Chiefs have three practices left in St. Joseph. They are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday's practice starts at 8:15 a.m. - an hour earlier than the usual 9:15.
Based on the current forecast, there's a solid chance that the Chiefs will have to practice inside the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex Tuesday. If that happens, the team will announce the decision on social media and practice would be closed to the public.
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