It more than likely won’t be this week — and it might not be the following week either.
However, it sounds like the Kansas City Chiefs are planning to elevate wide receiver Josh Gordon from the practice squad at some point this season. He officially signed on Tuesday, meaning his first day on the practice field was Wednesday.
Your photographic proof that Josh Gordon was at Chiefs practice pic.twitter.com/OeoY3DvY4z— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) September 29, 2021
Head coach Andy Reid had his first chance to address the signing on Wednesday, firstly giving credit to general manager Brett Veach for making the move.
“Brett always keeps his eyes open for good players; Josh is a good player,” Reid told reporters. “I think we all know that. He’s worked hard on his situation, making sure it was right; he’s been reinstated by the league, which was an important step. We welcome him aboard.”
One player that could be positively affected the most by the addition is quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Without having worked with him at practice yet, Mahomes was intrigued by Gordon’s history: he was once a first-team All-Pro wide receiver.
“Everywhere he’s been, he’s kind of dominated,” Mahomes recalled with reporters during his Wednesday press conference. “It’s definitely exciting... he can make plays in one-on-one coverage, and I’m excited to have him here with us.”
The elephant in the room is his off-field history. He’s been suspended a handful of times — including two full seasons because of a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy. On the flip side, Andy Reid has a history of giving guys like Gordon a chance to revitalize their career on his team.
Reid sounded confident in the path that Gordon has followed to get back into the league.
“He’s had a great eight months of taking care of business,” Reid described. “The league obviously understands that he’s a good guy; he’s had his issues, and he’s working on that. Everyone deserves an opportunity to try and do the right thing.”
On the field, the 30-year-old Gordon may not be the same player that led the league in receiving yards during the 2013 season — but his physical build and natural ability are unprecedented.
He’s the type of player that could continue to excel even if he isn’t in his “athletic prime.” Mahomes has a good idea of what he’ll get out of Gordon once he’s on the active roster.
“He’s a big receiver,” Mahomes said. “He’s going to be a guy that even if he’s covered, he’s not covered — you can kind of throw it up there, and he’ll make plays. I’m excited to work with him.”
One reason the team may have been interested in Gordon is their lack of a true second wide receiver to pair with Tyreek Hill. They’ve gone with a wide receiver-by-committee approach to make up for it, but it’s had inconsistent results so far this year.
Either way, coach Reid feels good about the position group as a whole.
“We’ve got a great receiving room; this is just another addition to it,” he explained. “He’s been such a good player, so any time you can add somebody of that quality, you try to do it within reason... I’m sure he’ll raise everyone’s awareness that he’s there, they all know that he’s a good player... He seems like a good guy, so I don’t think the chemistry will be disrupted at all.”
Mahomes reflected a similar sentiment as Reid, noting that he’ll have his moments like every other pass-catcher on this team.
“He’s a great football player — but in this offense, everyone gets a chance to make plays,” Mahomes asserted. “The guys love competing and love getting out there, doing anything we can to win.”
It’s a low-risk transaction, but one that has a very high reward. Gordon’s presence could help solve the problem that the Chiefs’ offense has faced so far this year: teams are taking away the big plays for Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, forcing other receivers to make those game-changing catches.
Gordon has a long history of making those types of plays — and his last NFL reception was a perfect example.
This was the last reception Josh Gordon made in the NFL, a 58-yard bomb in Week 15 of 2019— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) September 27, 2021
652 days ago #Chiefs pic.twitter.com/vcBPs3URus