The Kansas City Chiefs are short a couple of wide receivers in Week 11 — JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. The latter will be out at least four weeks after KC revealed that he will be placed on the injured reserve.
Based on that, it makes sense that the Chiefs will elevate wide receivers Marcus Kemp and Cornell Powell from the practice squad for Sunday Night Football against the Los Angeles Chargers — per ESPN NFL insider Field Yates.
Chiefs Bulk WR Room With Week 11 Elevations vs Chargers
The Kansas City wide receiver room is in flux heading into Week 11. As quarterback Patrick Mahomes would say, it’s next man up and the Chiefs will have to rely on several new faces as they’ve done all season.
Headlining the group will be 2022 signing Marquez Valdes-Scantling — cleared of his midweek illness on the final injury report — and recent trade acquisition Kadarius Toney, who almost feels like a veteran of the franchise already. Behind them are Justin Watson and rookie Skyy Moore, who have both been used sporadically during their inaugural seasons in KC.
Kemp and Powell round out the group. The former is a veteran special teams ace that spent five seasons within the organization before leaving briefly in 2022. It didn’t take long for the Chiefs to bring him back after the ST unit struggled to start the season.
Powell has a bit of a different background. The former 2021 fifth-round pick out of Clemson failed to make the active roster as a rookie but returned on a practice squad deal. He rejoined Chiefs training camp in year two but suffered the same result as his first go around.
Despite his draft status, Powell has never appeared in an NFL game. Week 11 versus the Chargers should be the first.
Chargers WRs Keenan Allen & Mike Williams Could Return vs Chiefs
On the other side of the field, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert could be getting back his top two wide receivers this weekend.
ESPN NFL analyst Mike Clay recently tweeted that “the Chargers waived Keelan Doss, which leaves them with 6 active WRs and provides some optimism that Mike Williams and/or Keenan Allen will be active tomorrow.”
Clay isn’t alone in this theory. Associated Press reporter Joe Reedy wrote that both wideouts are “likely” to play versus the Chiefs “barring a setback.”
“Keenan Allen and Mike Williams were full participants in Friday’s practice,” Reedy informed. “Even though they are both listed as questionable on the injury report and coach Brandon Staley said it will come down to a game-time decision, both players said they were ready to go.”
Of course, you never know with Allen. LAC’s top pass-catcher has missed every game but two this season with a bum hamstring and most times, he’s begun the week with a questionable tag.
Even when Allen has played, he’s been somewhat limited on the field. As for Williams, the 6-foot-4 counterpart has only missed the last two games after suffering a “high sprain” against the Seattle Seahawks.
In seven starts this year, Williams already has 495 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Allen has obviously had a miserable campaign so far, with 77 receiving yards off six targets (all caught). If they are able to go on Sunday night, the duo should immediately provide a tangible spark for the Chargers.