The Kansas City Chiefs pass catchers were a mess to kick off this season. There is no question about it, and every stat, critique, or analysis regarding their performance has already been said by someone. Now, the Chiefs have more than a week to prepare for their next opponent, and there is no reason that preparation should not include Justyn Ross having a greater role.
Ross is still grinning after making his NFL regular-season debut against the Detroit Lions. He played a whopping six offensive snaps and nine snaps on special teams. It was just enough to get the Clemson alum's feet wet in the NFL. There is nothing unusual about an inexperienced wide receiver seeing little work in Andy Reid's offense. But there was nothing usual about Kansas City's offense against the Lions.
The Kansas City Chiefs need to leverage Justyn Ross more in Week 2.
The drops, the messy route-running, and the cutesy play-calling doomed Kansas City in Week 1. Meanwhile, Ross did not see his first target come until the 4th quarter, with 7:06 left on the clock. It was a short hitch to the left side of the field, but it still showed what the Chiefs needed in that game: rhythm.
Ross doesn't have the explosive speed that Toney or Moore does, sure. But he makes up for that with route running and sure hands. Plus he is a big target for Patrick Mahomes and can use that to his advantage. Even on his lone grab, he used his body to shield the ball and ensure the reception. Rhythm. Keep the ball moving toward the goal line, and you are doing something right.
The Chiefs not using Ross more is somewhat understandable but still frustrating. General manager Brett Veach mentioned Ross as a player the team had a package for. That package might have been specifically for the red zone, but Chiefs fans did not get to see it. However, the Chiefs lacked consistent or simple playcalling in short-yardage situations.
Ross can be a part of that problem's solution.
Is he going to emerge as the Chiefs' top wideout? Probably not. But there is no reason the Chiefs should not be expanding his role on offense. If his durability was a top concern, they would not be playing him on a third of the special teams snaps.
Leverage the talent that Ross showcased on college football's biggest stage years ago. At this point, the Chiefs' passing game can only improve. Ross should be a key cog in an improved attack, even if just in a complimentary role.