Days before they kick off the NFL postseason, the Kansas City Chiefs made a swap at linebacker at the bottom of the 53-man roster. The team placed James-Michael Johnson on injured reserve and signed free agent linebacker Robert James.
Johnson got a chance to start for Derrick Johnson last Sunday as head coach Andy Reid rested 20 of his 22 starters. He had to be helped from the field and now will miss the postseason.
A fifth-round pick of the Falcons in 2008, James saw action in 18 games during three seasons in Atlanta. During 2012 he played in all 16 games, posting 11 tackles before moving on to Baltimore this season, where he played one game with the Ravens.
It would make the most sense that rookie linebacker Nico Johnson — frequently inactive this season — will get the call in place of James-Michael, but don’t count out James moving along quickly. The team could have promoted LB/DE Ridge Wilson, who spent all of training camp with the Chiefs and was signed to the practice squad last week, but opted for James instead.