From the time he joined the Chiefs in the spring as an undrafted rookie, Tysyn Hartman never wavered in his belief that he would make the Chiefs’ 53-player, opening day roster.
It came to be for Hartman, who played at Kapaun Mount Carmel and at Kansas State. He’s one of two undrafted rookies with the Chiefs, running back Nate Eachus being the other.
His roster spot could be in jeopardy when starting free safety Kendrick Lewis returns to the lineup. Lewis hasn’t been practicing because of an injured shoulder.
But for now, at least, Hartman remains with the Chiefs. He credited his time at K-State for being NFL-ready.
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“I had great coaches that taught me a lot about the game,” he said. “I feel that gave me a leg up. I just had to work hard from then on.”
Hartman will have to dig deep into his wallet to buy tickets for everyone interested in attending Sunday’s season-opener against Atlanta at Arrowhead Stadium.
“It’s going to be tough,” he said. “I have so many supporters, family, friends, relatives that are so excited for me. It’s going to be tough for me.”
Young on the line
The Chiefs have just two backups for their offensive line and both are rookies. Jeff Allen, a second-round draft pick, is the first guard off the bench while Donald Stephenson, a third-round choice, is the only spare tackle. The Chiefs would have to use Ryan Lilja, a starting guard, at center if Rodney Hudson is injured.
Coach Romeo Crennel said the inexperience of Allen and Stephenson would be a concern if they have to play.
“Our rookies do have good ability,” Crennel said. “The only way you develop that ability is to work with them over time and hopefully they grow and hopefully they don’t get thrown into the fire too soon. Rookies are going to make mistakes. I’ve been in the business for awhile and that doesn’t change from year to year.”
Rookie wide receiver Junior Hemingway, a seventh-round draft pick, was released off the practice squad to make room for an offensive lineman, Rich Ranglin. Ranglin went to camp with the Chiefs this year.
From a pure numbers standpoint, the move makes sense. The Chiefs have six receivers on the active roster plus a seventh, Jamar Newsome, on the practice squad. The Chiefs have just seven linemen on their active roster plus Lucas Patterson and David Mims on the practice squad before signing Ranglin.
“As we were looking at it, we were a little heavy at the wide receiver spot so we made that move so we could add an offensive lineman, make it a little easier at practice so we can operate more efficiently,” Crennel said.