Kadarius Toney has his detractors and that's understandable. While there will always be some appreciation from everyone in Chiefs Kingdom for his contributions toward a third Super Bowl title for the franchise in '22, the truth is that the production simply isn't there from a guy this celebrated by the Chiefs front office.
Remember that Toney cost the Chiefs two draft picks (third and sixth-round choices in the '22 draft) back at last season's trade deadline. He was also praised in the offseason as the team's new No. 1 wide receiver following the offseason departures of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman among others. In a matter of two offseasons, it felt as if the Chiefs had gone from Tyreek Hill as their top wideout to Toney in a slow baton hand-off. Unfortunately things haven't played out that way at all.
Not only has Toney failed to live up to any such standards of production, but the Chiefs aren't even giving him a chance. Toney has just three targets in the last three games for the Chiefs, a declining number that makes him a minimal part of the offense—like this year's version of Marcus Kemp or Gehrig Dieter.
Here's one thing we know: Toney started the year in the worst way possible with one critical dropped pass after another. It certainly cost the Chiefs the game in a season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions, and perhaps that's a hole from which he cannot climb. Maybe a bond of trust was broken at that point and it's beyond repair. Maybe Andy Reid is too scared to rely on Toney from that point forward in a similar vein to his inability to call a QB sneak. It's possible that Toney has been written off internally.
Here's one other thing we know: Kadarius Toney is the most explosive player on this Chiefs offense. Toney's combination of vision, instincts, and agility make him one of the most dangerous players in the entire NFL with the ball in his hands, which is why the New York Giants invested a top 20 pick overall in him just a couple of years ago. Beyond that, he's also shown Chiefs fans how tough he can be by picking up considerable yards after contact has been made.
What's even crazier here is that Toney has been healthy. For all the knocks against him staying upright this offseason, the truth is that Toney has stayed off of the injury report for most of the season and hasn't missed a single game all year.
All of this makes explaining his 20 catches for 127 receiving yards a maddening exercise. It should easily be 3 or 4 times that number with minimal effort, but given the lack of other options, it could even be higher than that. Here's hoping the Chiefs figure out that getting Toney the ball is a very, very good strategy and that he's electric in this second half. They have no other weapon like him.