The Kansas City Chiefs enjoyed a welcome sight on Monday morning, when third-round rookie wide receiver Chris Conley stepped onto the playing field for the first time in over a week. Conley had been dealing with a strained knee that he sustained before the veteran showed up to training camp, something that has finally gone away.
Now, Conley is seeing plenty of reps while Jeremy Maclin, Junior Hemingway and Albert Wilson are working their way back onto the field. Maclin has a strained neck and is day-to-day, while Hemingway has a hamstring issue and Wilson is dealing with an illness. With all those bodies under the medical tent, Conley has a chance to catch up in a complex offense.
Yet, Conley feels he is already back to full speed both health-wise and within the offense, as he told reporters on Tuesday after practice:
"“Yeah, the coaches did a great job of keeping me involved. Although I was off to the side, they kept my mind sharp and kept me up to date on the installs and where the offense was at. When I came in here today, I was able to move in seamlessly, so it’s been a good transition.”"
Conley stated that it was difficult having to watch practice, but at the same time was helped out by the veteran players within his meeting room.
"“It’s super frustrating; I’m a guy who prides myself on my play. I like to practice because I like to get better; I like to learn from guys who are vets. Having (Jeremy Maclin) and (Jason Avant) out there is invaluable so I don’t want to miss any of that time, but it was good because I was able to meet with those guys off the field and get with those guys in the film room and stay up to date.”"
It remains unclear if Conley will play in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals. Considering he has dealt with such limited practice time to this point, it could be a stretch. Regardless, the focus remains on the regular season, where Conley is hoping to contribute on a regular basis. Whether he is expected to by the coaching staff is another story.
“That’s completely in the unknown. Coach Reid is an offensive genius and he likes to put people in places where they can make plays based on their skill set. Right now, he has told me my job is to learn, and that’s the reason he has put me by Jason (Avant) and (Jeremy Maclin); it’s just to learn from guys who have done this and have had a lot of success and have done it for a long time.”