Reggie Ragland made his first career start at inside linebacker for the Chiefs in Monday night’s game against Washington at Arrowhead Stadium. David Eulitt
Reggie Ragland made his first career start at inside linebacker for the Chiefs in Monday night’s game against Washington at Arrowhead Stadium. David Eulitt


Chiefs coach Andy Reid explains decision to start Reggie Ragland

By Terez A. Paylor

October 03, 2017 04:27 PM

The Chiefs’ first-string defense featured a significant switch Monday night when inside linebacker Reggie Ragland –– who was acquired from Buffalo for a 2019 fourth-round pick a month ago –– got the nod at inside linebacker next to Derrick Johnson.

Ragland started in place of Ramik Wilson, who started the first three games of the season.

“I like both guys,” Reid said. “We brought Reggie here to see what he’s all about. We’re lucky to have both of them. He gives us another tough kid in there vs. the run and actually covered the pass pretty good.”

Ragland played 21 defensive snaps against Washington, recording an assisted tackle. Wilson, who made seven tackles in the first three games, only played four special-teams snaps Monday.

Help us deliver journalism that makes a difference in our community.

Our journalism takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work to produce. If you read and enjoy our journalism, please consider subscribing today.

Reid said the Chiefs liked Ragland in the 2016 NFL Draft, when he was taken by the Bills in the second round.

“We sure liked him coming out of college, and obviously Buffalo did, too,” Reid said. “We understood why they took him –– he brings good leadership and a physical presence about him.”

No date for Ehinger’s return

Reid said he’s not sure when offensive lineman Parker Ehinger, who has not appeared in a game yet as he makes his way back from an October 2016 knee injury, will return.

Ehinger did not suit up Monday, despite the fact he was a full participant all week. The recent injury to Laurent Duvernay-Tardif could spur him into the mix, however, since the only other healthy backups on the 53-man roster are Jordan Devey –– who filled in when Duvernay-Tardif went down Monday –– and Cameron Erving.

“We’ll see, we’ve got some choices here depending on who comes back from injury, if anybody,” Reid said. “You’ve got Cam Erving there who is a good player. Devey did a nice job.”

Starting center Mitch Morse has missed the last two games because of a foot injury, but his original diagnosis projected him to be out for a few weeks.

Reid was also complimentary of starting left guard Bryan Witzmann, who is also a first-year starter.

“This is probably Witzmann’s best week,” Reid said. “He’s making some improvement.”

Toub receives kudos from Reid

Reid praised special-teams coach Dave Toub for the job he did handling rookie Harrison Butker, who bounced back after missing his first career field-goal attempt to connect on the next three, including the game-winner on Monday.

“I thought Dave Toub really did a nice job with the kicker, settling him down,” Reid said.

Kansas City Star staff photographer David Eulitt has photographed Chiefs' game-deciding kicks before but didn't know how new Chiefs rookie kicker Harrison Butker would react after either making or missing his attempt against Washington at Arrowhea