Lost somewhere in the box score of the K.C. Chiefs’ gritty victory at Washington in Week 6 was a disappointing stat line for the newest member of the team. Wide receiver Josh Gordon, who signed with the team on Sept. 27th, was on the field for just 11 snaps against the Washington Football Team and received zero targets in those snaps.
There are a handful of reasons Gordon did not get more looks on Sunday.
First, in practice last week, the Chiefs were preparing for WFT with several new starters on offense. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was lost to IR with an MCL injury, left guard Joe Thuney was questionable with a broken hand, and Mike Remmers took the starting right tackle position from Lucas Niang. Thuney ended up starting in the game, but did not practice until Friday, meaning the Chiefs had three new starters running with the 1’s in practice for most of the week.
Josh Gordon’s absence makes a bit more sense when looking back at Week 6.
There just wasn’t a lot of time to integrate Gordon into a big chunk of the offense.
Second, for the personnel packages in which Gordon was inserted, my guess is that they involved tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The problem there is that each of those players were dinged up during the game, which stymied Gordon from making an impact. Hill entered the game nursing a quad injury, and played less than half the offensive snaps (see full snap counts from the game here). Kelce exited the game twice but was able to finish the match with 8 receptions for 99 yards.
Without the full availability of their two superstar pass catchers, the Chiefs utilized a myriad of personnel packages in the game. Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle, who both have years of practice in Andy Reid‘s system, each started the game and received the lion’s share of reps along with fellow wideout Mecole Hardman. Reid also utilized all three active tight ends, peppered in his fullback Michael Burton, and even employed a sixth offensive lineman on five different plays over the course of the game. Gordon just wasn’t a part of the recipe on Sunday.
Things should look different when the Chiefs travel to Music City to take on the Titans. Without cornerbacks Kristian Fulton (on IR with a hamstring injury) and Caleb Farley (out for the season with a knee injury), Tennessee will be scrambling to come up with ways to slow down the Chiefs. Gordon’s 6’3″ frame makes him a difficult task for any Titans cornerback to cover without Farley available in the lineup.
Final prediction: Gordon gets 25 snaps and finishes with 4 receptions for 45 yards and a red zone score.