When the Chiefs signed McKinnon this offseason, it was a low-level, single-season signing that was intended to bring competition to the mix in the backfield and nothing more—at least nothing guaranteed. From there, however, McKinnon looked sharp as a player still making his way back to from significant injuries that kept him out in 2018 and 2019.
McKinnon played in all 16 games for the 49ers last season but it was also his first year back since 2017. The Chiefs looked like they were getting the well-rounded back who once signed a nice-sized free agent deal with San Fran in the first place, except this time for pennies on the dollar.
If you’re unfamiliar, you should know that McKInnon has very good hands out of the backfield and is an elusive runner in his own right. He’s also a very good blocker, which makes him the sort of complete player a coach can trust in the backfield no matter the task. The generalist was able to beat out more familiar faces to Reid’s staff like Darwin Thompson, and it looked like he might get some real playing time as a third-down back.
Enter Week 1 and McKinnon had only four snaps on offense. Even Michael Burton, the team’s fullback, had one more than that. That’s not to say the Chiefs went run-heavy at any point, and Darrel Williams only had 14 snaps himself. Still, we expect to see much more of McKinnon as the season progresses.