Jordan Devey is offensive line depth personified. He’s a fifth-year pro who has been a member of four teams and has taken several round trips from the practice squad to the active roster.
Through it all, Devey’s approach never changes.
“Whether I’m playing, dressing or not dressing, you have to prepare because you never know what can happen,” he said.
What has happened this month is that right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was injured in the Chiefs’ victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, tearing ankle ligaments and fracturing his fibula. He could be lost for the season.
Next man up is Devey, who finished last week’s game and is expected to make his first start of the season on Sunday at the New England Patriots.
It will be the first starting offensive line change for the Chiefs this season.
Devey has been here before. After spending his first two seasons with the Patriots and 49ers, starting a total of 13 games, he was claimed off waivers by the Chiefs in 2016. He opened that season on the Kansas City practice squad and appeared in two games, including every snap of a victory over the New York Jets while subbing for an injured player.
He appeared in nine games and started one in 2017, and he has played in all five this season on special teams.
On Sunday, he’ll run out with the starters looking to keep a good thing going. The Chiefs take the AFC’s only 5-0 record into the weekend, which means Devey will take the team’s only mullet into the game.
Yes, under the helmet is a hairstyle that’s thin on the sides but long in the back. Devey had it cut that way in training camp at St. Joseph and had planned a restyling after the opener.
But then the Chiefs won at the Los Angeles Chargers, and …
“We had good luck, so I kept it going,” Devey said. “I couldn’t cut it. It’s staying as long as we’re rolling the way we are. It’s a love-hate relationship.”
Devey relishes his football moments. He wasn’t sure he’d play again after developing Osgood-Schallters, a disease that is a common cause of knee pain in adolescents. He developed the ailment while playing football in junior high school.
That’s when music entered his life. Devey, who didn’t play high school football, took up the tuba and played concerts and marched in bands. But he never really believed he was finished playing football.
Devey’s knees had healed by the time he completed his Mormon mission. He found his way to Snow College, near his home in American Fork, Utah.
He played well enough in junior college to attract a handful of Division I scholarship offers and transferred to Memphis, where he played for Justin Fuente, now Virginia Tech’s head coach. Missouri coach Barry Odom was part of that staff.
Devey played every snap in two seasons at Memphis. He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens and started that season in a Patriots uniform, the first of many moves that have brought him to Sunday, and a likely first start of the season.
Whatever happens, he’ll approach the game like any other.
“This week, it’s been business as usual,” Devey said. “I’ve studied, prepared, everything I need to do to be ready for the game.”