Why did Bengals make deferred claim for former Chiefs CB Chris Lammons?

Cincinnati’s move ends core special teamer’s season
Chiefs Texans Football
Posted at 5:19 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 18:19:23-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The budding rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals, who meet Sunday in a rematch of the AFC Championship Game, gained an interesting plot twist Tuesday thanks to the NFL’s waiver wire.

The Chiefs released core special teams ace Chris Lammons, a cornerback by trade, on Monday afternoon.

The Bengals claimed Lammons on Tuesday, blocking his possible return to the Chiefs’ roster this season.

The move is deferred until Feb. 13, the day after Super Bowl LVII, so it effectively ends Lammons’ season.

Speculation about the reason behind Kansas City’s move centered on last week's decision to designate tight end Jody Fortson and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire to return from injured reserve.

Neither was activated ahead of the AFC Divisional win against Jacksonville, but that decision opened a 21-day window to put Fortson and Edwards-Helaire on the active roster or leave them on IR for the remainder of the season.

Waiving Lammons created a vacancy on the 53-man active roster, which could be used to activate Fortson or Edwards-Helaire for the conference title game against Cincinnati.

The move didn’t necessarily end Lammons’ chance to suit up Sunday for Kansas City, which is hosting a fifth straight AFC Championship Game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

Had Lammons cleared waivers, Kansas City could have brought him back on the practice squad and used the standard-elevation roster mechanism to keep him active for “The Arrowhead Invitational.”

Lammons leads the Chiefs with 322 special teams snaps this season.

That’s no longer possible after the Bengals’ maneuver, which may not be popular at 1 Arrowhead Drive.

It also may not be popular with Lammons, who will miss the chance to play in the conference title game and possibly a Super Bowl.

Cincinnati has beaten Kansas City in the regular season each of the last two seasons and also won the AFC title game last season. All three games were three-point wins for the Bengals, who lost Super Bowl LVI against the Los Angeles Rams and still haven’t won a championship in NFL history.

Wide receiver Marcus Kemp, who has served as a gunner and core special teams standout in past seasons for the Chiefs, remains on the practice squad.

He was not active last week after being a standard elevation but could be a candidate to fill Lammons’ special-teams role against Cincy.