Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that special-teams play was one of the reasons the team promoted Jerry Franklin to the 53-man roster instead of fellow inside linebacker Nico Johnson.
“He’s a real good special-teams player, that’s what he is,” Reid said of Franklin.
The Chiefs have more invested in Johnson, a 2013 fourth-round draft pick, than Franklin, an undrafted free agent signed a week before the season opener.
But the Chiefs could have a special-teams need with linebacker James-Michael Johnson, a fixture on special teams, expected to receive a larger role on defense because of star linebacker Derrick Johnson’s season-ending injury.
The same also applies to Frank Zombo, another special-teams fixture who Reid said has been receiving more reps. Zombo has been working at the ‘Mike’ linebacker spot, Reid said.
Franklin, a third-year pro out of Arkansas, had three special-teams tackles for the Bears last season. He also had three special-teams tackles for the Bears during the 2014 preseason.
Reid on Rice
Reid had very little interest in delving into his thoughts on Ravens running back Ray Rice’s release and indefinite suspension from the NFL for domestic violence after a video showed him striking his now-wife in the face.
But Reid did say Wednesday that he addressed his team about the situation, which he called “important.”
“We’re just a microcosm of society,” Reid said. “We have the same issues here that you have in the world. So constant reminders are important on a lot of things, for all of us.”
Starting right tackle Jeff Allen (elbow strain) and running back De’Anthony Thomas (hamstring) did not practice. Outside linebacker Tamba Hali practiced, despite an ankle sprain.
Peyton on D.J.
Add Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning to the long list of people who were saddened to see Derrick Johnson suffer a season-ending Achilles’ tear Sunday.
“I have a lot of respect for Derrick, I played against him for a long time,” Manning said. “He’s a special player. You hate to see that kind of injury.”