KANSAS CITY - Starting strong safety Shawn Williams got the nod Sunday night after he missed the final stretch of last week's game with a concussion, a break for the struggling Bengals defensive trying to fend off Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his NFL-leading 18 touchdown passes.
With linebacker Nick Vigil (knee) one of five deactivations because of injuries, Jordan Evans drew the start at SAM after he started the four games at WILL missed by Vontaze Burfict.
The big surprise on the inactive list is wide receiver Josh Malone, a healthy scratch for the first time this season. But the Bengals have five receivers with John Ross returning after missing the last two games with a groin issue. It means that left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi is active for the first time this season.
The other inactives were ruled out Friday with injuries: slot corner Darqueze Dennard (shoulder), running back Giovani Bernard (knee, toe), tight end Tyler Kroft (foot) and center Billy Price (foot). After he played last week, back-up nose tackle Josh Tupou was inactive.
The Chiefs put down two of their best defensive players in sack ace Justin Houston and safety Eric Berry.