Jan 30, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon (1) runs the ball during the first half of the AFC Championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Report: RB Jerick McKinnon returning to Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are re-signing running back Jerick McKinnon to a one-year deal, ESPN reported Monday.

McKinnon, 30, contributed 169 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in 13 games with the Chiefs in 2021.

He has rushed for 2,299 yards and 12 TDs, and caught 188 passes for 1,344 yards and seven scores in 87 games (18 starts) with the Minnesota Vikings (2014-17), San Francisco 49ers (2020) and Chiefs.

The Chiefs have running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Ronald Jones II ahead of McKinnon on the depth chart.

–Field Level Media

Jan 30, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton (27) takes the field against the Cincinnati Bengals before the AFC Championship game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs CB Rashad Fenton recovering from shoulder ‘cleanup’

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton is recovering from a shoulder “cleanup” procedure, general manager Brett Veach confirmed.

“He’s going through a little bit of a rehab now, so hopefully we get him for the start of training camp,” Veach told the Kansas City Star on Tuesday.

Fenton, 25, registered a career-high 49 tackles and seven passes defensed in 14 games (eight starts) last season.

He has 99 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in 42 games (11 starts) since Kansas City drafted him in the sixth round in 2019.

The Chiefs drafted three cornerbacks last week, selecting Trent McDuffie in the first round, Joshua Williams in the fourth and Jaylen Watson in the seventh.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (27) scores a touchdown in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Chiefs signing RB Ronald Jones to 1-year deal

The Kansas City Chiefs are signing running back Ronald Jones to a one-year deal, NFL Network reported Saturday.

The report said Jones could earn up to $5 million.

He played his first four NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who drafted him in the second round in 2018.

Jones, 24, rushed for 428 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games (three starts) last season.

He gained more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage in both 2019 and 2020 and helped the Bucs win Super Bowl LV.

Jones has 2,174 rushing yards, 571 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns in 55 career games (25 starts).

–Field Level Media

August 14, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Eric Bieniemy to return as Chiefs’ offensive coordinator

The Kansas City Chiefs anticipate Eric Bieniemy will return for a fifth season as their offensive coordinator in 2022, FanSided reported Thursday.

Bieniemy coached last season on a one-year contract and the two sides have not yet signed a new deal “but belief is it will get done,” per the report.

Frequently interviewed for head-coaching jobs around the NFL, Bieniemy, 52, was passed over once more in the 2022 hiring cycle.

The New Orleans Saints interviewed him but chose instead to promote their defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen, to replace Sean Payton.

Bieniemy has served as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator since 2018 after five years as their running backs coach. In his four seasons as OC — coinciding with Patrick Mahomes’ four seasons as the starting quarterback — the team has never finished outside the top six in the NFL in either total offense or scoring offense.

–Field Level Media

Jan 23, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) walks off the field following the win against the Buffalo Bills in overtime in the AFC Divisional playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Odds favor Chiefs, Rams in NFL championship games

Early betting odds favor the home teams in the upcoming NFL championship games.

Following a thrilling victory in overtime against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs are a touchdown favorite to defeat their next playoff opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, in the AFC Championship game on Jan. 30.

The Los Angeles Rams, who defeated Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the other divisional game on Sunday, opened as 3.5 point favorites over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game, also on Jan. 30.

Caesars Sportsbook opened with the Chiefs a 6.5 point favorite over the Bengals. At several sportsbooks around the country, the line subsequently changed to Kansas City -7. The AFC game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., and the NFC game will be played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

Caesars Sportsbook also listed the Rams-49ers over/under at 46.5 points and the over/under for Chiefs-Bengals at 53.5 points.

Both games are rematches from earlier in the season. The Bengals defeated the Chiefs 34-31 in Week 17. The 49ers beat the Rams twice during the regular season, 31-10 in Week 10 and 27-24 in OT in Week 18.

Looking ahead, Kansas City is favored to win the Super Bowl, at +130, according to Caesars. Los Angeles follows at +210, with the 49ers at +450 and the Bengals at +750.

-Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs middle linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (50) reacts before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs LB Willie Gay arrested on criminal damage charges

Kansas City Chiefs starting linebacker Willie Gay faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal damage after his arrest Wednesday night in Overland Park, Kan.

According to Johnson County authorities, Gay was charged with one count of criminal damage of less than $1,000 for damage to property including a vacuum cleaner, a door frame and a wall.

A representative for Gay told NFL Network that “no one was touched” during an argument that led to the veteran player’s arrest.

Gay, 23, has a court appearance scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

The Chiefs said they were aware of the situation but did comment on Gay’s status for Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the visiting Buffalo Bills.

Gay, a second-round pick in 2020, started 11 of his 12 games in 2021 and registered 48 tackles, a half-sack and two interceptions.

Back in October, Gay missed a practice for personal reasons and posted on social media that he was struggling with his mental health.

“I love you all just know my mental health is F’d up,” he wrote on Twitter on Oct. 8.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; A general overall view of the LSU Tigers logo at midfield at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LSU tabs Chiefs’ Matt House for defensive coordinator

Kansas City Chiefs linebackers coach Matt House will be taking over the role of LSU defensive coordinator under new coach Brian Kelly, the school announced Wednesday.

House, in his third season in Kansas City, has been part of two straight Super Bowl participants. The Chiefs are currently 11-4 and have clinched a sixth straight AFC West title.

Prior to joining the Chiefs, House coordinated the defense for LSU’s SEC conference mate Kentucky for two seasons (2017-18).

“Matt checks every box we’re looking for in a defensive coordinator,” Kelly said. “He’s led elite SEC defenses, recruited and developed all-conference and All-American performers at multiple positions, and garnered ample experience in both the NFL and as a coordinator at multiple collegiate stops.

“He possesses a great understanding on how to defend the type of offenses we will face each week in our conference, and his ability to put players in position to make plays aligns perfectly with the identity that we want to develop with our defense. I’m excited that he’s joining our staff as we work toward building a championship program at LSU.”

Prior to his stint at Kentucky (which included a year as linebackers coach in 2016), House previously served as defensive coordinator at Florida International (2015) and Pittsburgh (2013-14).

He’s also coached with Michigan State (his alma mater), North Carolina, the University of Buffalo, the Carolina Panthers and the St. Louis Rams over a 20-year career.

“It is an honor to join Coach Kelly’s staff at LSU,” House said in a news release. “I firmly believe in Coach Kelly’s vision and look forward to getting to work. I am confident there are many exciting times ahead for the Tiger football family. Our staff will work tirelessly to develop our young men both on and off the field as we set a championship standard.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Taco Charlton (98) reaches for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) as he scrambles in the back field during the first quarter at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs rout Steelers, secure sixth straight division title

Patrick Mahomes passed for 258 yards and three touchdowns Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs claimed their eighth straight victory and clinched a playoff berth with their sixth consecutive AFC West title by throttling the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers 36-10.

The Chiefs (11-4), who came in allowing an average of 13.3 points a game during their winning streak, secured three takeaways and did not allow the Steelers (7-7-1) to score a touchdown until 2:54 remained.

Kansas City overcame a rash of COVID-19 inactives, including Travis Kelce, Nick Bolton and Harrison Butker.

The Chiefs scored on their first four possessions and generated 381 total yards for the game while maintaining their positioning for the top seed in the AFC playoffs.

Mahomes completed 23 of 30 passes, finding Byron Pringle for two scores. Pringle caught a team-high six passes for 75 yards. Kansas City added 127 yards rushing but lost Clyde Edwards-Helaire to a collarbone injury.

Ben Roethlisberger never got in sync with his Pittsburgh receivers, going 23 of 35 for 159 yards. Najee Harris rushed for 93 yards on 19 carries.

Andy Reid earned his 102nd victory as the Chiefs’ coach, passing Marty Schottenheimer for the second-most wins in franchise history, trailing only Hank Stram (124).

Mahomes drove the Chiefs to three first-half touchdowns and a 23-0 margin at the break. Kansas City gained 112 yards in the first quarter, using 14 plays on a methodical 73-yard drive that Edwards-Helaire capped with a 1-yard burst.

Charvarius Ward then intercepted a pass by Roethlisberger on the next play from scrimmage, and the Chiefs sailed 49 yards as Mahomes fired a 5-yard touchdown to Pringle.

An 8-yard TD strike to Mecole Hardman with 2:13 left in the half came after a 44-yard field goal by Elliott Fry. That gave the Chiefs a streak of seven straight scoring drives dating to their overtime win last week over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Mahomes passed for 205 first-half yards, while Roethlisberger countered with only 88. The Chiefs posted a 17-6 advantage in first downs for the half.

–Field Level Media

Dec 26, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) runs for a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs RB Edwards-Helaire (collarbone) out vs. Steelers

Kansas City running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire departed Sunday’s home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third quarter with a collarbone injury.

Edwards-Helaire, who scored a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter, was designated as out for the remainder of the game. He departed shortly before the Chiefs took a 30-0 lead on a touchdown drive that came when the Edwards-Helaire’s injury occurred.

Edwards-Helaire came in as the Chiefs’ leading rusher as part of their balanced ground attack. He gained 27 yards on nine carries before leaving Sunday to give him 517 rushing yards on the season with four TDs.

In two seasons with the Chiefs, the 32nd overall selection in the 2020 draft, has rushed for 1,320 yards and eight TDs, with 55 career receptions for 426 yards and three more TDs.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) warms up against the Las Vegas Raiders before the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (COVID) out Sunday

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce remains in COVID-19 protocols and will miss Sunday’s game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, multiple outlets reported.

The seven-time Pro Bowl selection landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday.

The Chiefs (10-4) added him to the active roster Saturday in hopes that he would clear the NFL’s health and safety protocols in time to face the Steelers (7-6-1).

Kelce, 32, has 83 catches for 1,066 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games this season. Last time out, he caught the game-winning score and posted a career-best 191 yards on 10 receptions in a Week 15 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Linebacker Nick Bolton and offensive tackle Lucas Niang also were added to the active roster Saturday but failed to test out of the protocols, ESPN reported.

Other Chiefs remaining on the COVID list include kicker Harrison Butker and punter Tommy Townsend.

–Field Level Media