The Kansas City Chiefs' defense is already proving itself to be one of the toughest and deepest units in the entire league in 2023 through the first four weeks of the season. The Chiefs are 3-1 despite trying to find their footing offensively for three of those games, largely because of the dominance on the defensive side—on all three levels.
Unfortunately for their next opponent, the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5, the Chiefs' defense should only get better with the return of two players who have been important contributors all along. Both starting linebacker Nick Bolton and cornerback Jaylen Watson returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the previous week due to injuries.
The Kansas City Chiefs defense should get a nice boost with the healthy return of two more contributors in Week 5.
Bolton is the most important name here for Chiefs Kingdom, the heart and soul of the defense whose presence immediately changes the entire unit's ability to generate downfield momentum. Bolton serves as the defense's primary communicator and brings strong leadership and instincts to the middle of the field. K.C.'s run defense should immediately improve and his chemisry with everyone else as the hub should smooth things out against Kirk Cousins and the Vikings' offense.
Bolton has missed the last two weeks with an ankle injury, so it will be interesting to see how many snaps he's ready to take on coming off of multiple missed games. Bolton has 15 tackles through 2 starts in 2023.
As for Watson, he only missed a single game due to a shoulder injury and he was limited in practice on Wednesday, so he might also be on a snap count for Sunday afternoon. Watson is an important contributor at corner with a knack for making big plays and generating key turnovers. So far this season, he has only 3 tackles in 3 games due to limited playing time and his injury.
The good news for the Chiefs is that the defense has peformed admirably even in their absence as both the linebacking corps and the secondary are particularly deep. Thus if either player still needs time before being fully healthy, the Chiefs have proven capable of handling that task.