Rookie running back Cyrus Gray rushed for 65 yards on 15 carries, including a score on a seven-yard scamper, he he lead the team in rushing and helped put the game away for the Kansas City Chiefs in their 27-17 victory in Week 1 of the 2012 preseason over the Arizona Cardinals.
Peyton Hillis also performed very well, chalking up 41 yards on four carries, while Jamaal Charles looked rather impressive in his return to the field with 12 yards as he carried the ball three times. Both backs also caught one pass for 11 yards.
Already seen by some as a steal out of the sixth round, Gray is currently competing for the third spot at the position on the roster behind Hillis and Charles with Shaun Draughn, who was picked by the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent last season before joining the Chiefs.
Gray, 22,collected over 3,000 career yards at Texas A&M, finishing third all-time in the Big 12 for all-purpose yardage. He had consecutive 1,000-rushing yard seasons in college and ran a 4.41 in his 40-time at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine.
However, he dropped all the way down to the sixth round due to injury concerns. Gray suffered a shoulder injury against Kansas in his senior season and was unable to participate in any of the college all-star games in front of NFL scouts.
Nevertheless, Gray displayed the speed to turn the corner and plenty of ability to break tackles against the Cardinals. He had the patience to wait for holes to develop and ran hard between the tackles when he found room to run.
There’s a long ways to go until the regular season starts, but Gray took a big first step towards making the Chiefs’ roster in their first preseason game.