610 Sports’ Carrington Harrison tweeted that according to a source, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins re-injured his foot during Thursday’s practice.
SOURCE: Sammy Watkins reinjured his foot in practice yesterday and had an MRI. Could be significant.— Carrington Harrison (@cdotharrison) December 7, 2018
To review: Watkins first injured his foot during the Week 9 game against the Cleveland Browns. He did not play in Week 10 against the Arizona Cardinals and saw only five snaps in the Monday night game against the Los Angeles Rams. He was targeted once, and had one catch for four yards. He then missed Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.
Watkins did not practice at all before the Raiders game and was a limited participant in this week’s Wednesday and Thursday practices — suggesting there was at least some hope he might be available to play against the Ravens this Sunday.
But according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Watkins attempted to “go in practice [Thursday] and couldn’t.”
One reason the signing of Kelvin Benjamin makes sense for the #Chiefs: WR Sammy Watkins tried to go in practice yesterday and couldn’t. His foot isn’t quite ready, and rest might be the only answer. With the playoffs looming, the best option is likely to rest until January.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 7, 2018
Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star chimed in with a timetable.
Update: Sammy Watkins is out 4-6 weeks, according to a source. https://t.co/Kjw8sPaKXK— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) December 7, 2018
Clarification: that includes the three weeks he's already missed. So he's likely out Sunday, then week-to-week after that.— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) December 7, 2018
Given these latest reports, Thursday’s signing of free agent Kelvin Benjamin was probably tactical instead of strategic. In other words, the Chiefs weren’t thinking about Benjamin as a player in which they’d necessarily be interested beyond the 2018 season. Instead, they were looking for a player they could use right now — in the final quarter of the season, and the postseason beyond.
Whether Benjamin will drop right into the Chiefs offense — or whether he will simply be another player to provide depth behind players like Chris Conley and Gehrig Dieter — remains to be seen. But Thursday’s signing of Benjamin makes a lot more sense now.