KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Officially, Melvin Ingram III didn’t have a massive impact during the Kansas City Chiefs’ nailbiter of a win Sunday against the Green Bay Packers at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Ingram was only credited with one tackle — an assistant as he knifed down the line to help defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton corral A.J. Dillon between the tackles.
But he served notice from the opening play about what he could bring to the Chiefs’ defense after being acquired Tuesday in a trade with Pittsburgh.
Ingram bull-rushed right tackle Billy Turner into Jordan Love’s lap, forcing the Packers’ backup quarterback — who started with Aaron Rodgers sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19 — to throw an incompletion.
There was no quarterback hit recorded on the play, but Ingram made his presence felt despite limited chances to get reps in Kansas City’s system and develop a rapport with his teammates.
“I thought he did well,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “Sometimes I’m on the bench, sometimes I’m up, so I don’t get to see every snap, but what I saw in practice I liked, and it looked like it carried over. He’s very, very smart and he’s got good leadership. I could feel that today on the ones that I was watching.”
Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark said the Chiefs are getting healthy, especially up front on defense, which has helped foster better camaraderie at practice. It’s also led to some improved and encouraging performances of late.
Clark said adding Ingram into the mix will only help Kansas City’s defense continue to ascend.
“I like Melvin,” Clark said. “Even before he came here, I was a big fan of Melvin. We always had conversations and always talked to each other, like my big bro. Having Melvin, adding Melvin to the bunch is only going to help us out in the long run. He does some special things. Some things everyone has yet to see here with the Chiefs, but I feel with the way he’s going to be utilized in the future it’s only going to be a benefit to us.”
Clark said he reached out to Ingram shortly after hearing news of the trade.
“Our guys welcomed him in, which isn’t always the case with teams,” Reid said.
Clark welcomed the extra help on the edge, especially because Ingram’s arrival allows Chris Jones to play more on the interior, where he’s been a two-time Pro Bowl selection in the past.
“Chris moving back into that three tech, him being dominant in there ... he feels good,” Clark said. “That’s where home is for him. It’s an automatic mismatch there.”
Kansas City’s defense only managed one sack — by safety Tyrann Mathieu on the blitz — but it was credited with seven quarterback hits, including three by Clark and two by Jones.
“Early on in the season, you didn’t really see guys having fun,” Clark said. “You didn’t see guys entertaining the crowd. Now, it’s become a whole thing, and we’re just getting back to playing football.”
Ingram is a welcome addition to the pass rush and to the defense overall.
“I could tell he’s hungry, and I could tell he’s coming to work,” cornerback L’Jarius Sneed said.