Kadarius Toney represents perhaps the biggest wild card for the Chiefs heading into the new season. Some fans think he’ll have a 1,000 yard season, some think he won’t be a factor.
The former first-round pick made his presence felt quickly after Kansas City acquired him from the Giants, notably returning the longest punt in Super Bowl history to help clinch the Chiefs’ championship.
That being said, he’s amassed only 55 career catches as injuries have limited him to just 19 games over his first two seasons. Is the No. 1 wide receiver hype warranted for Toney or should expectations be tempered heading into his third year?
Kadarius Toney 2023-24 Season Outlook
Advanced stats are exceedingly kind to Toney, though we’re dealing with a small sample due to his injures. He’s shown a knack for making plays in space, and the Chiefs were eager to get him involved on designed plays.
Andy Reid made it a point of emphasis to get Toney involved in a variety of ways, designing shovel passes, deep shots, and bubble screens while utilizing him as a returner. Newly promoted offensive coordinator Matt Nagy is even on the record saying he thinks Toney can fill that No.1 role.
Kansas City’s wide receiver room is crowded in bodies though limited in production. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is the highest-paid and most accomplished receiver, though decent investments to varying degrees have been made in Skyy Moore, Richie James, and Justin Watson as well.
Justyn and John Ross are receiving praise too, giving Toney decent competition though a massive opportunity if his target share remains this high.
Toney’s versatility and rare tackle-breaking ability give him a leg up on the competition, though he still has one major hurdle to prove he can clear.
Kadarius Toney’s Injury History
This is the concern with Toney. Dating back to college, he’s missed time with injuries to his shoulder, ankle, hamstring, quad, and oblique while also having offseason knee surgery.
Obviously, that long list is concerning. Those injuries can make it difficult to establish chemistry with a quarterback and is the single biggest impediment to a successful season for the slithery wideout.
He’s also primarily been used in non-traditional roles, raising fair concerns about whether he’s more of a gadget player than primary top-end wideout.
Indictations from the Chiefs seem to be that Toney will get every opportunity to produce for the Chiefs, though fans will be remiss if they spend the first month of the season waiting for the other shoe to drop.
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