Saturday, June 25, 2022

Chiefs Insider Projects Former All-Pro will not create an active roster

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With a lot of potential in the Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receiver room, that position will be closely watched when training camp takes place on July 27th.

A surplus of pass catchers means not all will make the active list in September. While the odds are that several spots on the roster will be reserved for veteran Kansas City wide receivers and second-round Skyy Moore, there is a strong possibility that one of the veteran wide receivers will be left out of the roster to make room for one of the several inexperienced pass catchers who compete this summer.

For that reason, a Chiefs insider believes Kansas City’s oldest receiver will not be included in the team’s 53-man roster next season.

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ESPN Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher dished his first 53-man roster forecast for the 2022 season on June 21. At the top of his prognosis is the exclusion of a veteran wide receiver who was on the Chiefs’ 2021 list: Josh Gordon.

Teicher has receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman, Skyy Moore and Daurice Fountain, making up the active roster next season.

“The top 4 seems set and it’s hard to see a spot for Josh Gordon unless he’s earning a lot of playing time because he doesn’t help on special teams,” Teicher explained. “That’s why I chose Fountain as my backup receiver. But the Chiefs have many candidates to consider during training camp and preseason.”

Teicher’s prediction comes as a bit of a surprise, especially considering how different Gordon, 31, has looked this offseason Reports from local media for OTAs and minicamps and by head trainer Andy Reid.

“You were out there, you could see that [Josh Gordon’s] run better, catch better,” Reid said. “He works hard on all of this. He’s a good boy and he’s smart so that helps. That’s how he approached the whole thing and he gets reps so he can get himself back to where he wants to be.

Gordon was reinstated by the NFL last year and signed with Chiefs Practice Squad on September 27. After not playing football since 2019, Gordon managed to earn a promotion to Kansas City’s 53-man roster through Oct. 5, but had minimal impact during his first season back in the NFL.

In 12 regular-season games, Gordon was tackled 14 times by quarterback Patrick Mahomes and caught 5 of those passes for 32 yards and had a touchdown, according to Pro Football Reference. That productivity came while 25% of the team’s total attacking snaps were played in those games.

Despite a lackluster season from the former All-Pro, the Chiefs re-signed Gordon on March 8. That showed Andy Reid and his coaching staff’s support for what they’ve seen of Gordon in a Chiefs uniform so far. So much so that Gordon’s position coach Joe Bleymaier gushed over Gordon and what he’s seen of the 31-year-old receiver.

“I have high expectations for Josh,” Bleymaier said on June 2. “Like you said the off-season was here when he got here just as much as we could do to get him on the field and let him know his duties. Extremely smart and intelligent, he knew he was able to overcome all of these challenges and he did what we needed last year.

“Now he can kind of understand why, side with Pat [Mahomes], understand the timing and how he fits in with everyone else. Not just the reps, but the depth and the feeling and that he got his stride back and realized where he was when he was at the top of his game – how he did. That’s where I really saw him coming this spring.”

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