With four expected starters sitting out Thursday’s preseason opener, the Chiefs’ defense welcomed some new names into their starting lineup.
And one rookie.
Fourth-round draft pick Armani Watts and Eric Murray started at safety, replacing Eric Berry and Daniel Sorensen. They were joined in the secondary by cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Steven Nelson.
With Reggie Ragland and Anthony Hitchens sidelined, second-year pro Ukeme Eligwe and Terrance Smith started at the inside linebacker spots. Justin Houston and Dee Ford were the edge rushers, with Chris Jones, Xavier Williams and Allen Bailey in the middle of the defensive line.
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The offense offered few surprises, with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, running back Kareem Hunt, fullback Anthony Sherman, tight end Travis Kelce and receivers Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill occupying the skill positions. The offensive line consisted of (left to right) Eric Fisher, Cam Erving, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Mitchell Schwartz.
Rookie cornerback Tremon Smith was lined up as the initial punt returner, though he signaled for a fair catch on the kick. Running back Kerwynn Williams was the first kick returner.