The Chiefs placed outside linebacker Dee Ford on injured reserve on Thursday, the club announced. To fill his spot on the 53-man roster, the Chiefs signed defensive tackle Justin Hamilton from the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad.
Ford, 26, has missed the Chiefs’ last four games with a back injury. He last played in the Chiefs’ 29-19 win over the Denver Broncos on Oct. 30, recording a tackle in 28 snaps.
The Chiefs exercised Ford’s fifth-year option for 2018 earlier this year, which will be worth approximately $8.7 million. The fifth year has an injury guarantee, but it would only kick in if it is determined that Ford is unable to play in 2018 after getting hurt this year.
Salary cap expert Joel Corry says it’s too early to tell whether the guarantee has kicked in –– the collective bargaining agreement is silent on the date a player has to still be hurt in order for that to happen –– but at the earliest, it will come down to whether Ford can pass a physical by the first day of the new league year, which begins on March 14. If he does, that potentially means the Chiefs could move on from him and save that money, provided he is released before that date.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
On the year, Ford has recorded 16 tackles, two sacks and seven quarterback hurries in six games this season. He missed the other six because of the back injury.
Ford led the Chiefs in sacks (10) and quarterback hurries (17) in 2016.
Hamilton, 24, has recorded two tackles and a half-sack in three games with the Eagles this season.
The 6-foot-2, 315-pounder went undrafted in 2015 out of the University of Louisiana, despite raacking up 28.5 tackles for loss during his career, and has since spent some time with the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
Hamilton was re-signed to the Eagles’ practice squad in early November after being waived from the 53-man roster.