Chiefs Urged to Handle Kadarius Toney ‘the Right Way’

Kadarius Toney

Getty Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney warms up before a game.

The Kansas City Chiefs released their Week 14 injury report on December 9 ahead of their road matchup with the Denver Broncos.

On it were two questionable tags — left guard Joe Thuney (ankle) and wide receiver Kadarius Toney (hamstring). Both are coming off consecutive absences.

As head coach Andy Reid addressed each injury this morning, an interesting debate sparked on the latter. “He got out and he worked [this week],” the Chiefs HC stated about Toney, “did some good things, moved around pretty good, didn’t give him a full [work] load — went out and moved around.”

“We’ll see,” Reid concluded. “[Toney] would be one that’s right there on the border of playing or not playing.”

Kadarius Toney’s Week 14 Status Sparks Chiefs Debate

With Toney looking like a true game-time decision on Sunday, it might be time to revisit a recent opinion piece from Arrowhead Pride Chiefs analyst Dakota Watson.

“Following the trade to acquire Toney, one of the concerns about him was his injury history,” Watson began, “which was a factor in the former first-round pick being jettisoned from the New York Giants.”

“Toney has now appeared in only 15 games during the first two seasons of his young professional career. Even in the games he has played, Toney has battled through injury and adversity,” he continued, detailing that “nearly 70%” of Toney’s NFL tenure has been spent on an injury report — even if he ended up playing.

“Toney’s injury history should be considered as he works to return to the Kansas City lineup — not just because of the injury’s nature, but also so that he can be set up for success,” Watson argued. “Since all soft-tissue strains — no matter how small — are actually tears, they can take longer for complete recovery. In particular, hamstring strains are also prone to re-injury — which appears to have happened with Toney; he has played in only five games this season. For Toney to get his career back on track, he has to get healthy — and stay healthy.”

The Arrowhead Pride writer makes some great points. Is it worth potentially rushing the dynamic offensive weapon back against the lowly Broncos? Yes, Denver has a top-ranked defense but if you believe Patrick Mahomes II can navigate it as he usually does, a Toney return might not be truly necessary in Week 14.

Watson agreed, concluding that “the Chiefs need to handle Toney the right way, so that he will be fully available for the playoffs — but also in 2023 and beyond.” That would mean sitting the playmaker one more game and having him return Week 15 against the Houston Texans.

More on Chiefs-Broncos Injury Report

Back to the injury report — Thuney appears to have a much greater chance of returning on Sunday. Reid noted that the guard has “felt better the last couple of days.”

Linebacker Nick Bolton (groin) also logged a full practice and was removed from the injury report, guaranteeing his availability against the Broncos. No one else appears to be in doubt for the Chiefs in Week 14.

Denver’s availability issues will bleed into this face-off much more than KC’s. Wide receiver Courtland Sutton (hamstring) headlines the three “out” tags with linebacker Dakota Allen (hamstring) and tight end Andrew Beck (hamstring/illness) as the other two who won’t go this weekend.

Defensive tackle D.J. Jones (shoulder), guard Dalton Risner (shoulder/back), and linebacker Justin Strnad (knee) are also all officially “questionable.” Out of the three, Strnad was the only one that did not practice on Friday, while Jones and Risner logged limited practices this afternoon.

Read More