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Chiefs Put Spencer Ware on IR with Shoulder Injury, Activate DT Xavier Williams

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 25, 2019

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 22: Spencer Ware #39 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs have run into another injury problem at running back.

The Chiefs announced Wednesday afternoon that running back Spencer Ware has been placed on injured reserve with what ESPN's Adam Teicher disclosed to be a shoulder injury. Defensive lineman Xavier Williams was activated to the 53-man roster from injured reserve in a corresponding move.

Kansas City signed Ware on Dec. 3 after the team sent Darrel Williams to IR with a hamstring injury. Ware played in three games and tallied 51 yards on 17 rushing attempts but did not find the end zone. 

Ware had previously played for the Chiefs from 2015 through last season, tallying 1,570 yards and 11 touchdowns on 337 rushing attempts. The 28-year-old's best season came in 2016 when he rushed for 921 yards and three touchdowns on top of 447 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver. 

Ware signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts in April, but an August ankle surgery led to the team releasing him from injured reserve on Sept. 20. He remained unsigned until the Chiefs nabbed him earlier this month. 

As the 11-4 Chiefs move into the postseason, they will continue to utilize a committee approach in the backfield. The running attack has been led by veteran All-Pro LeSean McCoy (465 yards, four touchdowns) and 27-year-old Damien Williams (374 yards, three touchdowns). Both backs have also been viable receivers, and rookie sixth-rounder Darwin Thompson can provide a change of pace.

Kansas City does not depend on its 23rd-ranked run game to win games, though. Reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and the passing game featuring tight end Travis Kelce and receivers Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman, among others, is what makes the Chiefs a contender to upset top-seeded Baltimore in the AFC.

The Chiefs round out the regular season at home against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.