Darwin Thompson

Kansas City Chiefs
Running Back #5
Kansas City Chiefs
Running Back #5
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Darwin Thompson News

Big game in expanded role

Thompson rushed 14 times for 45 yards and a touchdown, and caught all seven of his targets for 65 yards and another score in Sunday's 38-21 loss to the Chargers.

Analysis: Thompson made the most of his opportunity to start with both Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) and Le'Veon Bell (knee) not featuring Sunday. The second-year pro notched his first touchdown of the campaign with a one-yard rush during the second quarter, then hauled in an eight-yard pass to score in the fourth. Overall, Thompson led Kansas City in both rushing and receiving, showing good versatility to instill further confidence in himself should the Chiefs be short-handed in the backfield at all during the playoffs.

Jan 3, 2021 5:18 PM EST

Expected to see expanded workload

Though Le'Veon Bell (knee) is expected to suit up Sunday against the Chargers, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network suggests that Darwin Thompson "is slated to get the bulk" of Kansas City's carries.

Analysis: The report suggests that if Bell does play Sunday, "it'll be very little." With Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) already ruled out and Bell seemingly on track to be limited, it looks like Thompson will see expanded opportunities in Week 17, with Kansas City having clinched the AFC's No. 1 playoff seed. Darrel Williams is also on hand, but look for Thompson -- who's been used sparingly of late -- to get his share of work in Sunday's 4:25 ET contest, with the team expected to rest or limit multiple key players.

Jan 3, 2021 5:10 AM EST

No offensive snaps

Thompson didn't take the field on offense in Sunday's game against the Falcons.

Analysis: Even with Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) sidelined, Thompson couldn't crack the backfield rotation behind Le'Veon Bell and Darrell Williams. Barring one of those two sitting out next week's regular-season finale as well, it seems unlikely Thompson will get much usage. However, it seems a somewhat plausible outcome that Thompson will get a little work next week given that the Chiefs have locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Dec 29, 2020 8:31 AM EST

Over illness

Thompson (illness) practiced in full Wednesday, suggesting he's over the illness that sidelined him for last week's win over the Saints.

Analysis: Thompson's in line to make his return Sunday against the Falcons and should serve as the third-string option behind Le'Veon Bell and Darrel Williams with Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) expected to miss the game.

Dec 23, 2020 1:00 PM EST

Ruled out for Week 15

Thompson (illness) is ruled out for Sunday's game against the Saints.

Analysis: Thompson won't be available versus New Orleans due to an ailment he picked up Thursday, but the Chiefs' offense is unlikely to feel his absence. The second-year pro has been restricted to special teams since Week 9,

Dec 18, 2020 1:39 PM EST

Falls ill Thursday

Thompson (illness) was unable to participate during Thursday's practice session, Matt McMullen of the Chiefs' official site reports.

Analysis: Le'Veon Bell's mid-October arrival has zapped Thompson's offensive usage over the past two months. The Utah State standout posted three different outings with multiple rush attempts between Weeks 1 and 6, but since that point, he has been handed a carry in just one of the past six games. An absence from Thompson during a Week 15 matchup against the Saints would likely only impact Kansas City in the special-teams realm.

Dec 17, 2020 3:23 PM EST

Working on special teams

Thompson didn't play any offensive snaps during Sunday's 22-16 win over the Broncos.

Analysis: Thompson has 13 carries for 52 yards this season but hasn't played a single offensive snap since Week 8. The 23-year-old should be limited to special teams while Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Le'Veon Bell and Darrel Williams handle the backfield work.

Dec 8, 2020 7:10 PM EST

No offensive work against Tampa Bay

Thompson garnered zero offensive snaps and 10 special-teams snaps during Sunday's 27-24 win at Tampa Bay.

Analysis: The 23-year-old has been largely relegated from any offensive role since the Week 7 Chiefs debut of Le'Veon Bell, garnering at least one carry in a game only once (during a 25-9 win against the Jets in Week 8). Thompson has gone three consecutive appearances without fielding a single offensive snap, but there is a chance for him to get involved if Kansas City mounts a sizeable lead on the road underdog Broncos in Week 13.

Dec 1, 2020 5:57 PM EST

No offensive role again

Thompson played zero offensive snaps during Sunday's win over Las Vegas.

Analysis: The 23-year-old has exclusively played special teams over the past two contests with the rest of the backfield operating with no issues. Thompson has 13 carries for 52 yards this season and is unlikely to have much of a role while Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le'Veon Bell remain healthy.

Nov 24, 2020 3:01 PM EST

No offensive snaps against Panthers

Thompson played zero offensive snaps and 12 special-teams snaps during Sunday's 33-31 win against Carolina.

Analysis: The usually strong Kansas City ground attack managed only 30 team rushing yards against the Panthers, with Clyde Edwards-Helaire (five carries) and Le'Veon Bell (four carries) being the only running backs involved. Darrel Williams did not have a rushing role, but he did have one catch in the contest at least, relegating Thompson to the No. 4 spot in the KC backfield at the moment.

Nov 10, 2020 4:47 PM EST

Gets in on action late

Thompson tallied four carries for three yards and failed to haul in his lone target Sunday versus the Jets.

Analysis: While Thompson at least saw the field this week after being labeled inactive for Week 7. However, all of his reps came on the last drive with the contest well in hand, so there is little to glean from his effort Sunday other than he's a depth option should either Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Le'Veon Bell miss time.

Nov 3, 2020 8:40 AM EST

Not suiting up Week 7

Thompson (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Broncos, Adam Teicher of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: The 23-year-old had three carries for 17 yards last week as he saw his first offensive snaps since Week 3. Newcomer Le'Veon Bell is active for his Chiefs debut, pushing Thompson to the list of inactives.

Oct 25, 2020 12:31 PM EST

Three totes in Week 6

Thompson ran just three times for 17 yards in Monday's win over the Bills.

Analysis: Thompson only took the field for three total snaps, so he's already behind the eight ball in terms of playing time. With Le'Veon Bell set to join the mix as soon as Week 7, there's even less upside to Thompson's prospects moving forward.

Oct 20, 2020 8:59 AM EST

Out of game plan against Raiders

Thompson did not garner a single offensive snap during Sunday's 40-32 loss to Las Vegas.

Analysis: That makes two consecutive outings Thompson has gone without an offensive snap, and three games on the season in which the 24-year-old back has been without a carry. So far in limited action, Thompson has offered a much improved 5.3 yards-per-carry average after logging 3.5 YPC as a rookie, but he's been afforded just 1.2 rush attempts per game compared to more than three per game in 2019. Following Kansas City's Week 6 bye, Thompson will remain a depth option against Tampa Bay's top-ranked rush defense.

Oct 13, 2020 4:20 PM EST

No offensive snaps in Week 4

Thompson didn't take the field on offense during Monday's win over the Patriots.

Analysis: Thompson hasn't seen more than a 19 percent offensive snap share in any of the first four games, but a fumble last week on just six offensive snaps certainly did the second-year back no favors. He's firmly behind Clyde-Edwards Helaire and Darrel Williams in the pecking order for backfield touches and that shouldn't change as long as the two ahead of him are healthy and available.

Oct 6, 2020 9:49 AM EST

Loses fumbles during MNF win

Thompson registered 11 rushing yards on two carries, losing one fumble during Monday's 34-20 win against the Ravens. He was also targeted twice in the passing game but recorded no receptions.

Analysis: Thompson coughed up a fumble on Kansas City's opening drive of the second half, enabling Baltimore to establish a brief stretch of momentum in collecting a field goal and a touchdown on consecutive drives. The second-year back did not register another offensive touch the rest of the way, as Darrel Williams fielded two rushes for six yards along with a five-yard catch after the fumble. Clyde Edwards-Helaire paced the backfield with 20 carries, but it remains to be seen who will get the bulk of the No. 2 RB carries heading into a Week 4 matchup against the Patriots' 19th-ranked rush defense.

Sep 29, 2020 3:40 PM EST

Second in backfield snaps

Thompson rushed four times for 21 yards and failed to haul in his lone target Sunday versus the Chargers.

Analysis: Thompson's added work came following Darrel Williams' departure due to an ankle issue and he made the most of them, averaging 5.25 yards per carry. While the showing doesn't align him with major work in the future, Thompson could continue to slot in as the backup to Clyde Edwards-Helaire if Williams were to miss additional action.

Sep 22, 2020 10:21 AM EST

Limited to special teams

Thompson did not take the field on offense during the opener versus the Texans.

Analysis: A sixth-round pick by the Chiefs last season, Thompson managed to hold on to a roster spot behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams possibly due, in part, to his familiarity with the playbook. Regardless, he seems to be the clear No. 3 in the rotation and will presumably be limited to special teams as long as the other two are healthy.

Sep 11, 2020 4:14 PM EST

Left in the dust

Thompson is part of a Chiefs backfield that recently added first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire and veteran free agent DeAndre Washington.

Analysis: Translation: the 2019 sixth-round pick will need to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster. Thompson averaged 3.7 yards on 46 touches as a rookie, though he did at least work ahead of LeSean McCoy as Kansas City's No. 2 running back during the playoffs. Even so, Thompson figures to compete with Washington, Darrel Williams (hamstring) and a few lesser-known running backs for what figures to be one or two roster spots. Edwards-Helaire and Damien Williams will be the ones competing for significant touches.

Apr 24, 2020 1:50 PM EST

No room to run in playoffs

Thompson had two carries for seven yards during three postseason appearances with the Chiefs. He also failed to secure either of his two targets.

Analysis: Thompson was relegated to a depth role behind Damien Williams during the Chiefs' postseason run, culminating in a Super Bowl performance in which the rookie was held without a gain of yards on his only carry and failed to catch his lone target. Nor did Thompson have much room to run in the regular season, during which he had 37 carries for 128 yards and one touchdown across 12 regular-season games, while hauling in nine of 10 targets for 43 yards. Given that Williams is still under contract for 2020, Thompson lacks an immediately clear path to fantasy relevance.

Feb 12, 2020 9:56 AM EST

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