The Chiefs added a little help to their secondary Tuesday, signing veteran safety Kurt Coleman. Coleman, 26, was recently released by the Vikings during the final round of roster cuts.
To make room for Coleman on the 53-man roster, the Chiefs placed linebacker Joe Mays on short-term injured reserve. Mays recently underwent wrist surgery and could be out for at least a month.
Coleman joins undrafted rookie Daniel Sorensen and recently acquired veteran Kelcie McCray as backups to starters Husain Abdullah and Eric Berry, who missed the entire preseason slate because of a heel injury but appeared to be a full participant at Monday’s practice.
The Chiefs’ willingness to play four safeties last season allowed reserves Quintin Demps and Abdullah, who was promoted to a starting position this offseason, to flourish. But Demps and starter Kendrick Lewis departed via free agency this offseason, and the Chiefs have been searching for improved depth since promising second-year safety Sanders Commings suffered a season-ending injury in training camp.
Coleman, a five-year veteran who is listed at 5 feet 11 and 200 pounds, has a history with Chiefs coach Andy Reid. As a seventh-round pick of the Eagles in 2010, Coleman spent his first four seasons in Philadelphia, where started 29 of 59 regular-season games and collected 221 tackles, 11 passes defensed and seven interceptions.
Coleman’s best statistical season came in 2012, when he recorded 93 tackles, four passes defensed and two interceptions in 14 starts in Reid’s last season there. His Pro Football Focus grade of negative-15.5 ranked 85th among 88 safeties who logged at least 25 percent of their team’s defensive snaps.
Coleman saw his number of defensive snaps drop from 905 to 74 in 2013, when he became a reserve under new coach Chip Kelly. He logged 14 tackles in 15 games (zero starts) before signing with the Vikings as a free agent in April.