Chiefs activate tight end from injured reserve ahead of AFC Championship vs. Bengals

Emily Curiel/

The Chiefs have an offensive weapon back in time for Sunday’s showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs on Saturday activated tight end Jody Fortson from the reserve/injured list, a move that now has the team at 53 players on the active roster.

Fortson suffered an elbow injury in Week 15 before the Chiefs placed him on injured reserve for the final three regular-season games. The Chiefs designated Fortson as “return to practice” in the week leading up to the AFC Divisional Round, opening a 21-day evaluation window to decide whether to activate him or leave him on injured reserve.

Before landing on injured reserve, Fortson appeared in 13 regular-season games with one start, totaling nine catches for 108 yards and two touchdowns. His return bolsters depth behind tight ends Travis Kelce, Noah Gray and Blake Bell.

The transaction also comes at a time when Kelce surprisingly appeared on Friday’s injury report with a back injury. While the Chiefs designated Kelce as questionable, he practiced fully Friday.

In other roster-related news, the Chiefs used standard practice-squad elevations on receivers Marcus Kemp and Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Both players are likely to contribute on special teams.

KC also signed running back La’Mical Perine to the practice squad while also terminating the practice squad contract of running back/receiver Jerrion Ealy.

The Star’s Jesse Newell contributed to this report.