Chiefs inside linebacker Reggie Ragland has no shortage of things to overcome as he acclimates to his new team.
Not only is Ragland — who the Chiefs acquired from the Buffalo Bills on Monday for a 2019 fourth-round pick — coming off a season-ending torn ACL, he’s also got to get adjusted to a new team.
The good news, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, is that Ragland is probably well-versed in some of it already. Ragland spent last year in Rex Ryan’s 3-4 defense, which is similar to the scheme Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton currently employs.
“Rex’s defense and Bob’s defense are similar,” Reid said.
Though Reid is hopeful Ragland can pick it up quickly, he doesn’t have a firm time line on how quickly he expects Ragland to contribute, since the ACL remains a variable.
“We are just going to see where he is physically,” Reid said. “I do not think he is all the way back from that, so we will work him … then let him get caught up on the defense. We have not had a chance to meet with him.”
Ragland has been classified by some as an old-school thumper at inside linebacker — the kind of large hard-hitters that have been phased out a tad due to the pass-happy nature of today’s NFL — but Reid said Ragland is more than that.
“It is good to be a thumper, but I would tell you that he could probably handle three downs,” Reid said. “That was what he was coming out.”
Still, Reid made it clear that Ragland — who checks in at 6 feet 2 and a sturdy 253 pounds — profiles more as a “mike” inside linebacker, who is often charged with being stout in the middle of the defense and taking on blocks. That allows the “weak-side” inside guy — in this case, Derrick Johnson — to run and hit.
“Everyone had really positive reports and Brett (Veach, the Chiefs’ general manager) did all of the homework on that,” Reid said.
Patrick Mahomes will start Thursday’s preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, while Tyler Bray will lead the twos and get the third quarter. Joel Stave will lead the threes and play the fourth quarter.
Johnson and outside linebacker Justin Houston did not practice Tuesday. Reid said both were resting.
Undrafted rookie cornerback Ashton Lampkin injured his knee in practice Sunday, and it turns out he has a torn ACL, Reid said. Lampkin will undergo surgery.