Williams is second Chief to opt out of 2020 season

Brandon Zenner
St. Joseph News-Press
Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (26) has opted to sit out the 2020 season over coronavirus concerns.

The man responsible for the final two touchdowns to the 2019 NFL season will not take the field in 2020.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams has opted out of the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the team announced Wednesday. Right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif announced his decision to opt-out last week, making Williams the second Chief to forgo 2020.

"As an organization, we certainly understand and respect Damien's choice, knowing it was made in the best interest of his family," Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. "He means a lot to our football team as a player and a person, and we're going to miss having him around this season."

Williams gave the Chiefs the lead for good in Super Bowl 54 with a 5-yard touchdown catch. He then extended the lead with a 38-yard rushing score, his sixth touchdown of the postseason.

He finished with 711 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns in last year's regular season. Williams was scheduled to make $1.85 million in the final year of his contract extension, which will now roll over to 2021. He will instead receive a $150,000 advance on his salary this year.

The move now boasts the first-round pick of LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire even more, as he is the favorite to assume lead duties in the backfield. He finished 2019 with 782 yards after contact and 71 forced missed tackles, already impressing his veteran teammates.

"He's a guy that you know is a hard worker," quarterback Patrick Mahomes told reporters Saturday. "You can tell by his demeanor. You can tell by the way he's out there and what he does off the field and on the field. I'm excited to have him involved in the offense now."

CHIEFS MOVES: Ahead of the Aug. 13 date of when teams must cut down to 80 players, the Chiefs accomplished that on Wednesday.

The Chiefs have waived Jovahn Fair, Braxton Hoyett, Jalen Julius, John Lovett, Tyler Newsome and Bryan Wright. The team also officially announced the signing of guard Kelechi Osemele.

Kansas City also has agreed to a deal with free agent safety Tedric Thompson, a three-year player who was drafted by Seattle in 2017. He started 16 games with three interceptions but missed 16 games the last two seasons due to injury.

The Chiefs have yet to announce the signing.