The Kansas City Chiefs have placed defensive lineman Breeland Speaks and wide receiver Gehrig Dieter on injured reserve, as well as waived offensive lineman Jeff Allen as the team cut down to its NFL-mandated 53-man roster Saturday.
In a move that appeared to be on the move over the past week, the Chiefs traded running back Carlos Hyde to the Houston Texans in exchange for offensive tackle Martinas Rankin. The Texans were in need of help in the backfield after Lamar Miller suffered a torn ACL, and Hyde became the odd man out with the emergence of rookie running back Darwin Thompson. Hyde signed with the Chiefs in the offseason.
Rankin was a third-round pick out of Mississippi State in the 2018 draft. He played in all 16 games last year with four starts.
The Chiefs also traded cornerback Mark Fields, signed as an undrafted free agent, to the Vikings for a seventh-round pick.
Among notable cuts was Allen, who was brought in after training camp in hopes to bolster the interior offensive line. Allen was originally drafted by the Chiefs and re-signed with the team last year.
Kansas City also released second-year lineman Kahlil McKenzie, who was drafted last year and moved from the defensive line to offense.
Kansas City also release Pace Murphy and Jimmy Murray on the offensive line.
The Chiefs also opted to waive Justin Hamilton after he spent last season with the team. With Speaks heading to injured reserve, the Chiefs will keep 26-year-old outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu after an impressive offseason with the team. He recorded two sacks in the preseason finale in Green Bay. He played 11 games for the Jets a season ago.
Speaks underwent knee surgery Tuesday after suffering an MCL sprain and meniscal injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He will be joined on injured reserve by Dieter, who has been out since the second practice of training camp with a back injury.
Speaks and Dieter will miss 2019, as NFL rules state a player must begin the year on the 53-man roster in order to return from injured reserve.
In one of the tightest battles of the offseason, Kansas City preferred Blake Bell and Deon Yelder over Grand Valley State rookie Nick Keizer.
The Chiefs, who signed quarterback Matt Moore last week, also opted to keep Chad Henne on the active roster, despite undergoing ankle surgery Tuesday. The Chiefs did cut Chase Litton and Kyle Shurmur.
Other surprise cuts included wide receiver Cody Thompson and cornerback D’Montre Wade after both had impressive training camps with the Chiefs.
While Morris Claiborne is suspended the first four games of the year, the NFL also announced De’Anthony Thomas will be suspended for the opening game of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Tremon Smith, who recently made the switch for cornberack to running back, will likely serve in his role after making the 53-man roster.