Chiefs Lose WR to Injury, Opens Door for Kadarius Toney

Getty Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney.

The Kansas City Chiefs traded for wide receiver Kadarius Toney on October 27 during the team’s Week 8 bye. He played his first game for the Chiefs against the Tennessee Titans in Week 9, playing 9 total snaps on offense and catching 2 passes on 2 targets for 12 yards.

It was an overall successful debut for Toney, who didn’t pop on the stat sheet mainly due to a limited snap count but looked good on the field, run blocking included. In Week 10 when Kansas City plays host to the Jacksonville Jaguars, there was already an expectation that the 23-year-old wideout would see at least a slight uptick in snaps. Yet, due to a recent injury update in the receiver room, Toney’s role could increase significantly in his second game as a Chief.

Hardman Out vs. Jaguars

After failing to practice at all during the week, the Chiefs announced on Friday, November 11 that fourth-year receiver Mecole Hardman (abdomen) was ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.

Veteran running back Jerick McKinnon (shoulder/knee/hamstring) is listed as questionable for the Week 10 outing. He practiced in full on Wednesday and Thursday but was downgraded to limited on Friday. Starting cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (knee), who popped up on the injury report on Thursday and was limited at practice, was a full participant at Friday’s practice and has no injury designation for the game.

Through 8 games, Hardman has been on the field for 53% of Kansas City’s offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Reference. That’s roughly 38 snaps per game. Without him in the lineup, the Chiefs will likely look to Toney, who can be used on gadget-type plays like jet sweeps, end-arounds, and screen passes similar to how the Chiefs deploy Hardman.

This season, Hardman has caught 25 passes on 34 targets for 297 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns. He has also carried the ball 4 times for 31 yards and has another 2 scores on the ground, per Pro Football Reference.

Twitter Reacts to Hardman Being Ruled Out

Twitter users reacted to Hardman being ruled out for Week 10.

“I’ll bet Toney could do a lot of similar things especially the jet sweep type stuff, and the screen game,” one Twitter user wrote.

“I’m not saying that I’d start Kadarius Toney this week in fantasy. But I’d be very shocked if he wasn’t MUCH more involved in the offense with Hardman rules OUT. Let’s see if he was worth the stash,” another user wrote.

“Moore Toney Good week to see what KC has brewing in the WR room for 2023+,” Matt Lane of KC Sports Network wrote. “Also sure (Justin) Watson sees an uptick in snaps but his role seems consistent outside of Hardman’s so idk if there is much of a change there. His snaps may very well be tied to Fortson rather than a WR.”

“I’d love to see more Toney and (Skyy) Moore this weekend. Good chance Rojo (Ronald Jones) is active for the first time this weekend if McKinnon can’t go as well,” Daniel Harms of Fantasy Football Astronauts wrote.

“Looks like more Kadrius and Skyy. Skyy better start to figure out his role or he’s about to be left out in the cold,” another user wrote.

Read More