Ex-Nebraska guard Ricky Henry getting his shot with Chiefs

08/04/2014 4:35 PM

08/04/2014 11:15 PM

In their quest to replace the two starting-caliber players they lost to free agency (Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz), the Chiefs have certainly not been shy about rotating players in at right guard during training camp.

Second-year pro Rishaw Johnson, who earned some playing time in a reserve role last season, opened camp with the first team but steadily lost reps to rookie sixth-round pick Zach Fulton.

But now it appears another player, Ricky Henry, has joined the fray.

Henry, 27, is the classic definition of an under-the-radar player, thanks to his yearlong stint on the disabled list in 2013 because of a ruptured bicep. But during practice on Monday — and in several practices leading up to that — Henry took multiple snaps with the first team in several periods.

“Oh yeah,” Henry said. “First time you get to hit anybody in a year, since last August.”

Henry, who is listed at 6 feet 4 and 310 pounds, entered the league in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska. Since then, he spent time with the Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints before the Chiefs claimed him off waivers last August.

Henry, however, was only with the team a week or so before he ruptured his biceps in the final preseason game against Green Bay. He proceeded to miss the rest of the season.

“You just feel like you’re sitting, missing out on hanging out with your guys and working,” Henry said.

However, Henry has worked his way into the first-team mix so far, at both right and left guard, with the latter coming when starter Jeff Allen kicks out to tackle.

“You’ve got to be able to play both,” Henry said. “You’ve got to be versatile.”

This could help him in his effort to make the team, though Henry isn’t even getting that far ahead of himself. And in many ways, he’s pretty grateful just to be healthy and back out on the field, doing what he loves.

“I’m happy to be here,” Henry said. “Just sitting out and watching, it kind of (stinks).”

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.

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