Chiefs activate key LB ahead of matchup with Bills

After seeing its protection maintain a number of accidents in a loss to the Packers, the Chiefs may have their high linebacker accessible as soon as once more. Weeks after wrist surgical procedure, Nick Bolton will come off IR.

The Chiefs are formally activating the third-year defender forward of their Week 14 sport in opposition to the Payments, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson reports. It will solely be Kansas Metropolis’s second IR activation this season; six more such moves remain available to the defending champions.

Kansas Metropolis has misplaced three video games with out Bolton, who has missed time as a result of a number of accidents this season. The Chiefs have been with out the prolific tackler for the previous 5 video games. The workforce has misplaced three of these — to the Broncos, Eagles and Packers — to drop to 8-4. Having Bolton energetic will definitely assist the AFC West leaders, who now path the Dolphins and Ravens within the race for AFC home-field benefit.

Whereas overshadowed by the Chiefs’ two future Corridor of Famers on offense and Chris Jones on protection, Bolton has change into one of many league’s high younger linebackers. The previous second-round choose reeled off a 180-tackle season in 2022 and scored a landing in Tremendous Bowl LVII, coming a split-second away from a second TD in that sport. Bolton, nonetheless, has solely performed in 4 video games this season. He missed three earlier this yr as a result of an ankle harm.

This activation will likely be a well timed one for Kansas Metropolis, which dominated out Drue Tranquill for Sunday’s sport. Tranquill suffered a concussion in opposition to Inexperienced Bay. Bolton and Willie Gay, nonetheless, have operated because the Chiefs’ high linebackers for the previous three years. The latter is in a contract yr. With Homosexual’s Missouri future unsure, Bolton profiles as an extension candidate, becoming a member of fellow 2021 second-round choose Creed Humphrey in that regard.

The Mizzou alum will likely be a pivotal part of the Chiefs’ newest effort to safe a first-round bye. The Chiefs have earned a bye in 4 of their 5 playoff runs with Patrick Mahomes on the helm. They’ve been in a position to play a record-setting 5 straight dwelling AFC championship video games, two of these as a result of that yr’s No. 1 seed (the Ravens in 2019, Titans in 2021) shedding in Spherical 2.

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