Both the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs are pretty healthy heading into the 2019 AFC Championship Game: despite the two squads having 17 games under their proverbial belts so far this season, no major players are projected to miss the game due to injury. Quite the opposite, actually, as the Chiefs have made a move today to further strengthen their already explosive offense.
According to a report by the Kansas City Star’s Sam Mellinger, the AFC’s top-seeded team has activated guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from the injured reserve to its 53-man roster today. In order to make room for the 27-year old, the team decided to part ways with veteran safety Ron Parker — despite him playing 87.2% of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps during the regular season.
With Eric Berry also back but even more so the solid play of the other safeties on the team, the team apparently felt no need to keep Parker around after he played just eight snaps on Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts. Taking Parker’s spot on the team is the Chiefs’ nominal starting right guard, who suffered a broken fibula in week five — one week before Kansas City and New England first met this season.
Getting a player of this caliber and role back will of course be a boost to the offense, even though Duvernay-Tardif might still be a bit rusty after not appearing in a game since early October. Nevertheless, he certainly adds another high quality player to an offense already full of them — one that will presents an additional challenge for a Patriots defense that has been solid as of late.