The questions about Josh Gordon are understandable.
On the one hand, Gordon is an exciting target, a wide receiver who was reportedly pursued by multiple teams once he was recently reinstated by the NFL. He chose the K.C. Chiefs which only adds another impact player on an offense that’s already stocked with future Hall of Famers. The idea of making the Chiefs offense even more dynamic is enough to make a fan giddy.
At the same time, there’s the whole reinstatement thing. Gordon is now 30 years old and hasn’t played in well over a year at the pro level. He’s also just easing into a new team, and then there’s the whole question of just how many targets there are to go around as it is.
With Gordon ready to make his debut in Week 5 for the Chiefs against the Buffalo Bills, we thought we’d help provide a primer for what to expect from Gordon in his first game and how his entrance will impact the entire team,.
Less Demarcus Robinson
Josh Gordon does not play special teams. Neither does Demarcus Robinson (or at least not much at all). That makes D-Rob the likeliest fit for swapping reps.
Here’s the truth about D-Rob. His presence fails to move the needle much at all on offense, despite the fact that he was gifted 45 snaps on offense last Sunday. Robinson played nearly 70 percent of all snaps and yet didn’t even earn a single target in Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles. In total, Robinson has earned 8 total targets in 4 starts on the season with official stats of 6 catches for 72 yards. It’s the least productive Robinson has been since 2018, except he’s playing as much as ever (his snap count is just under his highest total of 70% of offensive snaps back in 2019).
This means that Mahomes isn’t even looking Robinson’s way on offense, and we can’t help but wonder if it’s because he can’t get any separation or create any mismatch on his own. Even as teams are bracketing Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce, Robinson isn’t doing anything worthwhile in his own one-on-one matchups. That’s not good.
How things will work at the bottom of the depth chart remains to be seen. Robinson hasn’t played much on special teams since his rookie season back in 2016. It’s possible he will go from starters’ reps to inactive. It’s also possible he starts to play more special teams and we see Marcus Kemp left out as a healthy scratch.
Either way, Gordon’s size, strength, hands, and burst are going to make defenses play the Chiefs a bit more honestly as D-Rob’s reps will finally yield something productive in ’21.