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Chiefs Promote Ex-Super Bowl Starter & 5th-Year WR

The Kansas City Chiefs elevated offensive lineman Austin Reiter and wide receiver Marcus Kemp from the practice squad to the gameday roster, according to the NFL’s personnel notice on January 20.

Chiefs have used the standard practice squad elevation for WR Marcus Kemp and C/G Austin Reiter for Saturday’s Divisional Round game against Jacksonville.

— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) January 20, 2023

Reiter was a seventh-round draft pick of the then-Washington Redskins in the 2015 draft. He started his NFL career being demoted to Washington’s practice squad during his rookie year, which is where he stayed until the Cleveland Browns signed him to their active roster in September of 2016, per Pro Football Reference.

Reiter remained in Cleveland for two seasons, playing in a total of 17 games for the Browns yet only accumulating 67 total snaps over that timeframe. It wasn’t until the Chiefs claimed him on waivers after Cleveland cut him in September of 2018 that Reiter’s involvement on an NFL field progressed significantly.

In three seasons with Kansas City, Reiter played 42 regular-season games and started in 32 of those games. He also played in six playoff games and started in all of them, including starts in the 2019 and 2020 Super Bowls.

With the Chiefs making it a focal point during the 2021 offseason to bolster their offensive line, Reiter wasn’t re-signed and remained a free agent until the New Orleans Saints signed him at the beginning of the 2021 season for what would be a brief stint. On October 5, the Miami Dolphins signed Reiter, and he played in six games and started five of them before being waived on December 14, per Pro Football Reference.

Reiter Didn’t Get Promoted During Regular Season

Reiter, 31, re-joined Kansas City in March, was cut in August and re-signed to the Chiefs practice squad on August 31. The veteran lineman was one of two practice squad players cut by Kansas City on November 29 to make room for defensive tackle Brandon Williams and veteran running back Melvin Gordon, but Reiter re-signed to the Chiefs practice squad on December 8.

Elevating Reiter to the gameday roster was an interesting move by the AFC West champions. There were no offensive linemen listed on the injury report leading up to the Chiefs-Jaguars game, yet Kansas City still chose to elevate Reiter, who was never elevated for a game during the regular season.

You can never have too many healthy linemen on game day, which is likely the thought process behind Reiter’s promotion during the Divisional Round.

Kemp a Tenured Chiefs Player

Kemp, 26, entered the NFL undrafted out of Hawaii in 2017. He signed with Kansas City in May of that year. Since then, Kemp has largely remained with the Chiefs outside of a short stint with the Miami Dolphins in December 2020, according to Pro Football Reference. He has been active for a total of 47 games during his career and has caught 4 passes on 8 targets for 42 yards. Most of his damage with the Chiefs has been as a special teamer.

On July 26, Kemp signed with the New York Giants, who made former Chiefs quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Mike Kafka their new offensive coordinator under new head coach, Brian Daboll.

On August 31, the Giants waived Kemp. He then re-signed to Kansas City’s practice squad on October 2 and has remained there since.

Kemp was active for a total of three games during the regular season.

With Mecole Hardman (pelvis) still waiting to return from injury, Kemp will take Hardman’s gameday roster spot while providing special teams value for Kansas City against Jacksonville.

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