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3 Kansas City Chiefs cornerback options following Trent McDuffie injury news

Vincent Frank

Kansas City Chiefs rookie first-round pick Trent McDuffie played darn good football in his regular season debut against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

The former Washington star allowed just one catch on 32 defensive snaps in a blowout win over Arizona. Unfortunately, McDuffie’s 22nd birthday was not filled with good news. Kansas City announced on Tuesday that the star rookie suffered a hamstring injury in said game and has been placed on injured reserve. In announcing the news, head coach Andy Reid seemed to blame the field condiations at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium on Sunday for the unforuntate injury.

“It was part of the Butker injury and McDuffie injury. The turf picked up and I would tell you that that did have something to do with it. If it didn’t, I would tell you that, too. So it’s not an excuse by any means, but I mean, you all can see it. Watch the tape,” Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on Trent McDuffie injury.

By being placed on injured reserve, McDuffie will miss at least the next four games. That includes Thursday night’s outing against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Already thin at cornerback following the departure of Charvarius Ward in free agency, Kansas City will be up against it without one of its top cornerbacks. Jaylen Watson or Joshua Williams will likely take over for McDuffie next to Rashad Fenton for the short term. But we also expect Kansas City to look at other options. Below, we provide you with three potential scenarios heading into Week 2.

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Kansas City Chiefs bring in Pro Bowler Joe Haden

kansas city chiefs sign joe haden
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Even before Tuesday’s injury news, there were reports that Kansas City might look for a veteran option outside of the organization. As a championship-contending teams, players currently on the free-agent market would view the Chiefs as an attractive destination.

Haden, 33, makes a ton of sense in this regard. He has 148 career starts under his belt over the course of 12 seasons. While the three-time Pro Bowler struggled last season in Pittsburgh, he’s one year removed from playing good football. Back in 2020, Haden yielded a 51% completion and 75.9 QB rating when targeted.

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Kansas City Chiefs maintain the status quo with in-house options

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A sixth-round pick of the Chiefs back in 2019, Rashad Fenton pretty much takes over CB1 duties. He’s started 12 career games and ran with Kansas City’s first team eight times a season ago. He’s been pretty solid. However, there’s several questions marks behind the youngster at cornerback.

L’Jarius Sneed could potentially move from the slot to the outside. The third-year corner started all 15 games in which he appeared last season, picking off two balls with eight passes defended. Though, he also gave up a 69% completion mark. Assuming Sneed stays inside, two rookies in Jaylen Watson and Joshua Williams who saw limited action in their debuts could be next man up. If Sneed moves outside, fourth-year player Chris Lammons becomes an option.

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Terrance Mitchell would give the Chiefs experience

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
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Waived by the New England Patriots ahead of Week 1, Mitchell played with the Chiefs back in 2016 and 2017. He started 11 games during that span, recording four interceptions in the process. In fact, Mitchell was the team’s best corner in 2017 before opting for a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns.

Most recently, Mitchell started 29 games for the Browns and Texans over the past two seasons. That span saw him record 23 passes defended. At the very least, he’d provide experience in this defense.