Chiefs sign DT Kevin Vickerson

The Kansas City Chiefs began reconstructing their injury-depleted defense Tuesday by signing former Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson to a one-year contract, the Kansas City Star reports.

Vickerson will have the opportunity to start right away. The Chiefs lost defensive tackle Mike DeVito for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon in Sunday’s 26-10 loss to Tennessee.

The 31-year-old Vickerson spent the past four seasons in Denver, where the Chiefs visit on Sunday, and was waived just prior to the season. He played well two years ago, making 40 tackles and a pair of sacks, but seemed to regress a bit last season. He began his career in Tennessee and has made 153 tackles and 6 1/2 sacks over seven seasons.

Jaye Howard took the majority of snaps after DeVito left the game. Vance Walker will also have a chance to earn playing time after signing as a free agent in the offseason.

The Chiefs are also looking for a linebacker after losing Derrick Johnson to his own ruptured Achilles tendon, working out several potential replacements early this week. Joe Mays, who was signed in the offseason, is on injured reserve following surgery to repair a broken wrist. He carries the designation to return, but that’s unlikely for a while.

James-Michael Johnson and Josh Mauga are the next in line at middle linebacker. (Photo: (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

The Kansas City Chiefs have bolstered their defensive line with the addition of Kevin Vickerson.

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported that the two sides agreed to a one-year contract:

The 31-year-old brings some depth to the line after Mike DeVito suffered a season-ending injury, per Randy Covitz of The Kansas City Star. DeVito ruptured his Achilles tendon in the Week 1 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

The Denver Broncos released Vickerson as part of the final cuts before the regular season. Mitch Unrein, who took Vickerson’s spot on the team, thanked the veteran on Twitter for everything he’d done to further Unrein’s career:

Vickerson had attracted some interest from the Cincinnati Bengals, who ultimately didn’t pull the trigger, per Mike Klis of The Denver Post:

The San Diego Chargers also kicked the tires on Vickerson before opting to look elsewhere, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Although he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2005, Vickerson didn’t appear in a regular-season game until 2007. He spent three years with the Tennessee Titans before moving on to the Broncos. He’s started 43 of his 71 career games, making 111 total tackles with 6.5 sacks.

Vickerson is a solid run-stuffer who can plug gaps on the interior of the line. The fact that he was unemployed for this long isn’t indicative of his talent level. He’s a quality addition with the regular season having already begun.

This isn’t the kind of signing that will make the Chiefs the class of the AFC West overnight. However, Vickerson can play a role on the defense and fill a void.

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BRONCOS DT KEVIN VICKERSON SUFFERS DISLOCATED HIP, MAY BE PLACED ON IR - Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson suffered a dislocated hip in the second half of the team’s loss to New England, ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter reports.

A dislocated hip is a minimum eight-week injury. With five weeks left in the regular season, the Broncos are expected to place Vickerson on season-ending injured reserve.

Although the Broncos will rely on Williams and Mitch Unrein to split Vickerson’s role as the starting left defensive tackle. Terrance Knighton is the Broncos’ right defensive tackle.

Williams is a rookie defensive tackle who was the Broncos’ first-round draft pick in April, who started slowly this season. He was a healthy scratch three times from the team’s game-day roster, most recently against Washington and San Diego in games 8 and 9.

But Williams played 16 defensive snaps two weeks ago against Kansas City, and with Vickerson down Sunday night, Williams played a season-high 36 snaps.

Vickerson is the second defensive starter the Broncos have lost in two weeks. Last week, the Broncos placed safety Rahim Moore on injured reserve designated to return in six weeks after he underwent surgery to correct a blood-flow condition in his lower left leg. (Report: David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)