Akeem Hunt took a call from a friend Sunday night congratulating him on the long touchdown run against the Philadelphia Eagles that day.
Um, Hunt said. That was Kareem Hunt.
The confusion was a bit more widespread. According to a story in USA Today, many fantasy football owners activated Akeem Hunt when they believed he was Kareem Hunt. Understandable mistake: they share a last name, first names that rhyme, a team and a position.
“Oh, man, I didn’t know that,” Akeem Hunt said. “That’s funny.”
For the record, Kareem Hunt is the rookie running back off to a blazing start with five touchdowns in two games.
Akeem Hunt is a third year pro from Purdue who was waived by the Houston Texans on Sept. 3 and signed to the practice squad by the Chiefs two days later.
The Chiefs liked the latter Hunt enough to part ways with veteran C.J. Spiller, who had an impressive preseason, and Akeem Hunt suited up for his first Chiefs game against the Eagles, seeing the field on 13 special teams plays. One stood out.
He took a fourth quarter kickoff six yards deep in the end zone and returned it 40 yards.
“That felt really good,” said Hunt, who was playing at Arrowhead Stadium for the first time. “The fans got me going. That’s probably the loudest I’ve ever heard a stadium.”
Hunt went undrafted in 2015 after a productive four-year career at Purdue, where he increased his rushing totals every year and led the team in receptions as a senior.
He spent time with the Giants and on the Ravens’ practice squad before signing with the Texans. In 15 games over two seasons, he rushed for 205 yards.
The 5-9, 184-pound Hunt liked his chances of sticking with the Texans but understood when he was released.
“In this business, you know it can happen,” Hunt said. “I went undrafted, so somewhere deep down I knew it was a possibility. It was a bummer, and I say that because I got into the community.”
In a big way. Hunt was in Houston receiving treatment when the Texans visited New Orleans for a preseason game. The team couldn’t return home because of Hurricane Harvey, which caused widespread flooding, but Hunt remained in the city.
Hunt said the damage was limited where he lived, but he was struck by the devastation. He organized a school-supply drive with a group of friends and wound up donating more than 500 book bags of pencils, pens, notebooks, sharpeners, erasers and other supplies to the Houston Independent School District.
“I just spoke up and used my platform as an athlete,” Hunt said. “I was in a position to help, so I did. And a lot of people donated to this. It was a group effort.”
While Hunt continues to learn the offense and work behind Kareem Hunt and Charcandrick West at running back, he’ll be used on special teams as the Chiefs take advantage of speed that was once measured at 4.39 in the 40.
“He’s very fast,” Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub said. “He’s strong, he gets the return going north and south. He breaks tackles. He kind of fits our scheme.”
De’Anthony Thomas is the Chiefs’ primary kickoff return man. But Toub as long as Hunt suits up, “he’s a guy we’re going to keep developing.”
Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff