We’re not sure just how long Jerick McKinnon and/or Derrick Gore will have to showcase their abilities with greater-than-expected snaps, but this opening game is likely going to give one or both of them the chance to shine bright.
Right now the Chiefs have already declared Clyde Edwards-Helaire out for the Wild Card round against Pittsburgh. Darrel Wiliams was able to practice, and he could step in and be the lead back like normal when CEH is out. However, he’s dealing with a toe injury. The pair of injuries is apparently to the point that the team brought back Darwin Thompson to the active roster for some security.
McKinnon in particular could provide a big shock to fans if what we saw from him in the team’s final regular-season game was any indication of the fire with which he’s ready to play. McKinnon put up max yards in limited snaps against Denver, showing extra effort on every single touch. It was a noticeable effort that turned heads of fans and likely gained the trust of coaches.
The Chiefs landed McKinnon in free agency as a well-rounded back who can move the chains on the ground or catch the ball out of the backfield. He’s also a very capable and willing blocker. For that reason we might see a postseason hero emerge if the guys above him on the depth chart remain unavailable for any length of time.