From the outside, the Kansas City Chiefs have failed to walk their talk when it comes to the way they stated they perceived the talents of wide receiver Kadarius Toney. As it turns out, some of that is due to ongoing injury concerns for the talented young player.
On Monday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke to the media for the first time following the team's bye in Week 10. It was a chance for Reid to answer several questions about potential adjustments going forward, especially on the offensive side, where the team had struggled more than expected in the season's first half.
As part of his Q&A session with reporters, Reid was asked about Toney and his usage on offense—namely that he's not earning a ton of reps. According to Reid, that level of usage is about making sure he's healthy when it counts the most: down the stretch.
Andy Reid says the reason you're not seeing a ton of Kadarius Toney is because of injury concerns.
There are two things here to keep in perspective which is why Reid was asked the question in the first place. Earlier this spring, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach described Toney as their No. 1 wide receiver, and the Chiefs' inactivity at the position in terms of player acquisition only backed up that viewpoint. Agree or disagree, the Chiefs did very little to replace JuJu Smith-Schuster and others lost in free agency.
However, if the Chiefs really valued Toney at that level, then it became a source of questions (and frustrations) to see so little usage of Toney week after week. In three games before the bye, Toney had 3 total targets. If he's your No. 1 receiver and he's barely getting any looks or even snaps, then clearly someone was lying, right?
This is where the knee surgery comes in, which Reid brought up in his press conference. Instead of being able to come into the season with a full training camp under his belt and a show of stamina, Toney was lost on one of the first drills of the preseason and subsequently required knee surgery. While he was able to return and play in time for Week1, the multiple drops made it clear he wasn't quite ready to take on such a role.
So far this season, Toney has just 20 catches for 127 yards and 1 touchdown so far in 2023. He was acquired before last season's trade deadline for third and sixth-round selections from the New York Giants.
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