The Kansas City Chiefs are hosting a pair of tight ends for workouts at the start of Week 16 preparation: Izaiah Gathings and E.J. Jenkins, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston on December 19.
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) December 19, 2023
Chiefs Kingdom will remember Gathings, an undrafted rookie from Middle Tennessee State, as he played for Kansas City this summer. After going participating in part of the New York Jets’ offseason program, he signed with the Chiefs in July. Gathings, 23, participated in training camp and the preseason as a member of the Super Bowl champions before being cut during roster cutdowns.
Gathings, who played wide receiver in college, had 60 receptions for 559 yards and 2 touchdowns during his senior season with the Blue Devils in 2022, according to the school’s website.
E.J. Jenkins a Behemoth at TE
Jenkins, 25, played his redshirt senior season at South Carolina in 2021 before transferring to Georgia Tech for his final year of eligibility in 2022. He registered 25 receptions for 433 yards and 4 touchdowns in 19 games played over those two seasons, per Sports Reference.
Standing at 6-foot-7 and weighing 243 pounds, Jenkins converted from receiver to tight end as he transitioned to the NFL in 2023. Though he went undrafted earlier this year, Jenkins was part of the Jets organization for some time this summer and was also signed to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad before Week 9 but was cut shortly after.
With Travis Kelce, Noah Gray, and Blake Bell already on the 53-player roster and Matt Bushman on the practice squad, the Chiefs don’t currently need at tight end. However, it can’t hurt for the team to have an updated emergency list if injuries begin to plague the tight end room. That list may or may not include Gathings and/or Jenkins now.
Andy Reid Reacts to KC’s Week 15 Win
The Chiefs ended their two-game losing skid in Week 15 by way of a 27-17 road win over the New England Patriots. Speaking to the media on Monday, December 18, Kansas City head coach Andy Reid reacted to the Chiefs’ victory, which improved the team’s record to 9-5.
“That’s a tough place to play,” Reid said of Gillette Stadium. “So to be able to put together points on the board with some really good things — six out of the eight first possessions were really good drives for us and offensively — and then defensively to be able to come back and do what we did there, I thought was good.”
Against the now 3-11 Patriots squad, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 27-of-37 pass attempts for 305 yards, 2 touchdowns, and threw 2 interceptions. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire started in place of Isiah Pacheco and ran the ball 13 times for 37 yards and also had 4 receptions for 64 yards and 1 touchdown.
Kansas City’s defense overall had a successful day against New England; the unit allowed just 206 yards of total offense, sacked Patriots QB Bailey Zappe 4 times, and forced 1 turnover (interception). The Chiefs’ defense also dominated on third down, allowing New England to convert on just 2 of its 12 third-down attempts.
Kicker Harrison Butker made 2-of-3 field goal attempts and all 3 point after attempts.
With three games remaining on their regular season schedule, the Chiefs are currently the No. 3 seed in the AFC and still have a chance to leapfrog the Miami Dolphins (10-4) and Baltimore Ravens (11-3) for the No. 1 seed in the conference.