Good graces have not been with Speaks. After spending several weeks on the injured reserve, the Chiefs found out that Speaks would have to serve a four-game suspension after violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Fortunately the NFL allowed him to serve that suspension even while injured.
Speaks has a lot to prove in a very small amount of time. The Chiefs have a need at defensive end but not so much on the interior. In limited action, rookie Khalen Saunders looked like he may eventually be a starter in the NFL. Chris Jones was dominant in pass rushing situations and the combination of Mike Pennel and Derrick Nnadi was effective against the run. On the EDGE, Frank Clark and Tanoh Kpassagnon are the only two that should be considered locks for 2020. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be where Speaks fits in the defensive scheme and it may come down to a training camp battle.
Needless to say, Speaks’s future with the Kansas City Chiefs is muddled and it is not clear whether or not he will even get another chance. Speaks will likely have to “wow” the staff and play the best football of his young career if he wants to gain any playing time. Whether the criticism of Speaks is warranted or not, the questions of what he does well and where he can contribute loom over his head.