REPORT: Kansas City Chiefs Reveal Kicker Harrison Butker Could Be Demoted Next Season

The Kansas City Chiefs have revealed they’re considering benching Harrison Butker for kickoffs next season.

Butker has been performing kickoffs for the Chiefs since his rookie season in 2017 but could see the role handed to someone else in 2024.

Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub spoke to reporters on Thursday and disclosed the team is mulling over keeping Butker benched for kickoffs.

While the kicker has been catching criticism from all over due to the controversial comments he made earlier in May, his potential benching has nothing to do with it. They’re considering it so he doesn’t take hits all season.

Harrison Butker kicking a football

“I like to have somebody who is able to make a tackle, Butker is able to make a tackle, but I really don’t want him making tackles all year long,” Toub explained.

The NFL is set to introduce a new kickoff rule in 2024, and Toub has noticed that kickers in the UFL have been taking hard hits as they’re more involved in tackling.

“If you watched the XFL — I watched every play — I bet kickers were involved at least 25% to 40% of the tackles,” Toub added. “Either trying to make a guy bounce back or making the tackle or missing the tackle. We don’t want Butker in that situation.”

Chiefs Name Harrison Butker’s Potential Replacements

The Chiefs are considering using safety Justin Reid or former rugby star Louis Rees-Zammit on kickoffs instead of Harrison Butker. The latter joined the team in March after impressing at International Player Pathway pro day.

Reid has played in place of Butker while the kicker was injured, so the transition wouldn’t be new to him.

“Justin can cover, he can kick, and he can go down there and make tackles,” Toub pointed out. “He’s an extra guy they’re probably not accounting for. …  A guy like Justin is a guy they have to worry about. They have to get him blocked and they have to give up blocking someone else.”

The coordinator reckons Rees-Zammit could be just as good in the role.

He said, “Louis has done above and beyond what I expected. He can kick field goals, he can be a kickoff guy for us. He’s every bit as good as Justin (Reid) is at moving the football and stuff like that on kickoffs.”

While Butker could be on the bench for kickoffs next season, Toub said the team will use him in certain situations if it makes sense.

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