Dexter McCleon Set to Return to Starting Lineup

The Chiefs are confident that Dexter McCleon will be ready for the season opener against Denver. Kansas City needs their 2003 interception leader on the field against the Broncos on Sunday night.

The coaching staff gave Kansas City the day off yesterday as they get ready for Denver on Sunday night in Colorado.

The Chiefs a day after trimming their roster to 53 players. Get down to business on Wednesday as they return to practice. Denver was in full domination when they hosted Kansas City last December. A few things have changed since that war; the Chiefs rehired Gunther Cunningham and revamped the defense.

Coming into Sunday's game Kansas City is seeking their third straight opening day win. The Chiefs have won nine of their last 14 season openers since 1990. In fact that win in 1990 led to six consecutive opening day victories during Marty Schottenheimer's tenure.

But before the Chiefs try to claim their third consecutive opening day victory they must get healthy. Both players, who missed most of camp defensive back Dexter McCleon and wide receiver Johnnie Morton were welcomed back with open arms Monday at practice and both, should see plenty of action on Wednesday.

McCleon should be good to play on Sunday, but the coaches will have to watch his shoulder, which caused him to sit out the teams last two exhibition games. Morton, who has not, ran a route since the first week of camp will be on the field when the Chiefs use a tree wide receiver set.

"He made one spectacular catch that showed he didn't lose his eye-hand coordination," Head coach Dick Vermeil said of Morton's first workout to the Topeka Capital Journal. We've got to gradually break him in, but he did some good things. We didn't overwork him, didn't throw him in on every rep, but he looked OK."

The only downer for the Chiefs when they tried to assemble their practice squad was the loss of offensive linemen Ryan Lilja who signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Kansas City was hoping to sign Lilja to their practice squad but instead signed Lilja and place him on their 53-man roster. The Colts waved guard Steve Sciullo to make room for the former Kansas State Wildcat.

"You hate to let an offensive lineman go because you always need them, but we got someone we wanted," Colts head coach Tony Dungy said to the Indianapolis Star.

While Dungy was happy to get the services of Lilja; Vermeil was not at all excited about the loss.

"That was a disappointing, but he's on a roster and making a lot more money his first year out," Vermeil said. "The only thing we can say is that we contributed to his future."

Other Chiefs news from yesterday former running back Mike Cloud, who spent last season with the New England Patriots, was signed by the New York Giants. Cloud who has amassed 499 rushing yards during his five-year career and nine touchdowns, will be one of a trio of backs for the Giants that feature Tiki Barber, Ron Dayne and the aforementioned Cloud.

Former Kansas City Chief wide out Marvin "Snoop" Minnis was released by the Dolphins. Minnis' agent reportedly told the team he wanted him cut so he could get a better chance of hooking up with another team. That has yet to happen as Minnis is still looking for a shot in the NFL.


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