Chiefs Downgrade WR to Out, 2 Others to Questionable vs. Bills

Chiefs Divisional Round injury update and elevations vs. Bills.

Getty Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs revealed a few late injury designations ahead of the Divisional Round vs. the Buffalo Bills.

The Kansas City Chiefs had late injury news for fans on January 20, ahead of the highly anticipated Divisional Round matchup with the Buffalo Bills.

The franchise’s X account announced the update, noting that “[wide receiver] Kadarius Toney has been downgraded to OUT for Sunday’s game.” On top of that, defensive lineman Charles Omenihu is now “questionable” with an illness, as is linebacker Willie Gay (neck).

Toney will join fellow wide receiver Skyy Moore, defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi and offensive tackle Wanya Morris on the inactive list. The playmaker has not suited up in a game since December 17.

As for Omenihu and Gay, the two defenders will be important names to watch ahead of kickoff on Sunday evening. The pass rusher has not missed a game since returning from suspension in Week 7. Over that span, Omenihu has racked up 7.0 sacks, five tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles as a rotational defensive lineman.

Gay has only missed one NFL outing in 2023 — Week 18 versus the Los Angeles Chargers — so he’s been relatively healthy during his contract year. He has contributed 58 total tackles (four for a loss), 1.0 sack, one interception, one fumble recovery and one touchdown on the season.

Chiefs Announce 2 Practice Squad Elevations vs. Bills

Additionally, the Chiefs also revealed two practice squad elevations on the defensive line. With Nnadi sidelined and Omenihu battling illness, defensive tackles Matt Dickerson and Mike Pennel will be called upon in this integral spot in Buffalo.

Dickerson was up with the active roster for chunks of the 2023 campaign. The interior lineman has appeared in 12 games this season, logging 15 total tackles and one tackle for a loss according to Pro Football Reference.

Pennel is a man of experience. The 10-year NFL veteran won a Super Bowl with the Chiefs in 2019, appearing in 130-plus games (including playoffs) throughout his professional career.

The nose tackle was active for three regular season outings this year, as well as the Wild Card matchup with the Miami Dolphins. In total, Pennel has contributed seven combined tackles and one tackle for a loss in limited snaps.

Kansas City is 3-1 in the games that Pennel has suited up for this year.

NFL Insider Says Chiefs Defenders Charles Omenihu & Willie Gay ‘Should Be Able to Go’ vs. Bills

NFL Network insider James Palmer calmed nerves after the initial injury update by the Chiefs — which was somewhat unexpected.

“My understanding is there is not a ton of concern with Chiefs’ Charles Omenihu questionable (illness) and Willie Gay questionable (neck),” Palmer relayed. “Expectation right now is they should be able to go tomorrow per source.”

The NFL requires that franchises list any and all injuries and ailments, meaning KC could just be doing their due diligence to abide by league rules. If Omenihu and Gay are unable to play, expect linebacker Drue Tranquill and defensive end Malik Herring to see more snaps.

Or perhaps, the Chiefs will unveil 2023 first rounder Felix Anudike-Uzomah for his playoff debut.

Herring was only on the field for six defensive snaps against the Dolphins, registering a tackle. He finished the 2023 campaign with 1.5 sacks, 10 total tackles, two tackles for a loss and one forced fumble. Anudike-Uzomah hasn’t had much of an impact since helping combine for a strip sack in Week 2, with 14 total tackles (two for a loss) during his inaugural season.

Read More