Skip to main content

Chiefs Waive WR Josh Gordon, Activate DT Khalen Saunders

One day after a high-flying victory over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly waived wide receiver Josh Gordon and activated defensive tackle Khalen Saunders off injured reserve ahead of their AFC Championship Game matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network was first to report Gordon's release, and Pelissero notes that Gordon's time in Kansas City may not be over.

The #Chiefs are waiving WR Josh Gordon — who has been inactive — but plan to re-sign him to the practice squad if he clears, per source.

Because Gordon was on the 53-man roster for 8 games, he’ll get the same playoff check plus a practice squad check for rest of the playoffs.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network then reported that Saunders will be activated off the injured reserve list, clearing the way for the former third-round pick to return to the field for the first time since Week 7.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Gordon's release coincides with back-to-back inactive listings in the Chiefs' first two playoff games, with preseason darling wide receiver Daurice Fountain being activated against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Bills. Against Buffalo, Fountain played 10 special teams snaps, potentially setting himself apart in the third phase of the game.

Aug 14, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Khalen Saunders (99) stands on the sideline during the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The return of Saunders may not fundamentally change anything about the Chiefs' defensive line, but for KC, it may not need to. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo uses a rotation of defensive linemen, and Saunders brings another athletic presence in the middle of the defense, potentially even allowing for other defensive tackles like Chris Jones and Tershawn Wharton to move around in hopes of finding KC's best matchups.

Dec 12, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Josh Gordon (19) celebrates with tight end Travis Kelce (87) after scoring against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs will host the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.