Will the Kadarius Toney injury carousel ever end?

Kadarius Toney is picking up right where he left off in New York with a knee injury on day one of training camp.
Jacksonville Jaguars v Kansas City Chiefs
Jacksonville Jaguars v Kansas City Chiefs / Jason Hanna/GettyImages

Offseason wide receiver concerns have become the cornerstone of this Kansas City Chiefs championship window. Whether it's been finding a bonafide WR2 to supplement Tyreek Hill, trading Hill away, or finding ways to replace production in his absence, the topic has become Chiefs Kingdom's favorite way to combat the football-less woes of July.

The Justyn Ross fan club has taken center stage at this time for two years now, but they found real competition with Kadarius Toney hopefuls for the loudest possible solution to said concerns in 2023.

Now, I am fully aware of Toney's athleticism, and I too am guilty of fantasizing a world where he is unleashed in an Andy Reid offense. However, as a wide receiver agnostic—it seems Mahomes could get it done with plumbers on the field at this point—I did temper my expectations. History has not been kind to Toney from a health perspective, and his seemingly perpetual injury carousel has now set up shop in St. Joe.

Kadarius Toney's injury history distinguishes hope for breakout campaign

Before the first official rep of training camp took place on Sunday, Kadarius Toney was ushered off the field with a "tweak" to his knee—he did not return. This likely isn't the last we'll hear of him, and for all intents and purposes, this tweak doesn't seem too serious. What has to be considered, though, is that these ticky-tacky type of injuries are what have defined his career since college.

Per Draft Sharks, Toney has suffered 12 injuries that caused him to miss time since 2017. Since he was drafted in 2021, he has only played in 19 total games and has started just eight. Here is a list of the injuries he's suffered and the time he has missed since being drafted 20th overall just two years ago:

  • August 14th, 2021: Grade 2 Thigh/Hamstring Strain—missed all of training camp.
  • October 10th, 2021: Pedal Ankle Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1—removed from Wk. 5 game.
  • October 17th, 2021: Pedal Ankle Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1—same ankle aggravated, mssed one game.
  • November 2nd, 2021: Leg Quad Strain—missed four games.
  • December 1st, 2021: Abdomen Muscle Strain Grade 2—missed three games.
  • December 29th, 2021: Shoulder—injured in practice prior to return for Wk. 17 missed final game.
  • May 21st, 2022: Knee tear—required minor offseason surgery. Toney was active for Giants training camp.
  • August 23rd, 2023: Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1—removed from game, aggravated again in practice two weeks later, missed weeks 3-7 for Giants.
  • November 20th, 2022: Thigh Hamstring Strain Grade 2—missed 3 games.

It's not a great sign that he is staring down missed time in his third consecutive preseason, and if you're still holding onto the dream of Kadarius Toney breaking out in 2023 it may be time to pump the brakes. History tends to repeat itself, and the first injury of Toney's third season has come right on schedule. Unfortunately, it seems as if the Chiefs may have landed themselves Percy Harvin 2.0 rather than the next great K.C. wideout.