A sore subject this season, the Chiefs’ wide receiver corps has also been shorthanded in recent weeks. Neither Kadarius Toney nor Skyy Moore have been available for the AFC West champions. One or both could be in the divisional round.
The Chiefs designated Moore for return Wednesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets. While the Moore news is somewhat important, it is perhaps more notable Jerick McKinnon — also eligible to come off IR this week — has not yet been designated for return.
Moore suffered a knee injury in December; that halted a disappointing season for the 2022 second-round pick. The Western Michigan product entered the year expected to be a near-full-time player for Kansas City, but his play has not warranted such a role. Moore has just 21 receptions for 244 yards and one touchdown this year, joining Toney as Chiefs receiver disappointments this season.
Still, Kansas City having one of its options back would stand to help its cause against Buffalo, which won the teams’ regular-season meeting for a third straight year. The Chiefs, of course, have had the upper hand on the Bills in the playoffs; they won the 2020 AFC championship game and downed their recent rivals in a 2021 divisional-round shootout. But this Chiefs’ offense is not on the level of those potent units, with the pass catcher situation front and center as to why.
The Chiefs entered negotiations with Tyreek Hill about a new deal in 2022, seeing the Raiders’ Davante Adams extension change the equation. A month after trading Hill to the Dolphins, the Chiefs chose Moore 54th overall. The MAC standout did not play much on offense last year, though he did notch a crucial punt return to help the Chiefs kick a game-winning field goal to beat the Bengals in the AFC championship game. With JuJu Smith-Schuster gone, the Chiefs had hoped to lean more on Moore. Neither he nor Toney have proven worthy of confidence, amplifying the importance of the swiftly developing Rashee Rice, a second-rounder this year.
Rice (930 receiving yards) led Chiefs wideouts in yards during the regular season by a cool 478, and the SMU product posted 130 to lift Kansas City past Miami in a frigid wild-card tilt. The Chiefs have used Justin Watson and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who has also underwhelmed this season, as Rice complementary pieces with Moore and Toney sidelined. The injury-prone Toney is battling hip and ankle injuries, missing the past four games. He is not on IR.