The Kansas City Chiefs’ experiment where rookie second-round wide receiver Skyy Moore serves as its punt returner is over — or at least it sounded that way during head coach Andy Reid’s Monday afternoon Zoom press conference.
The Chiefs had been training Moore — who registered just one punt return during his college football days at Western Michigan — to be its primary returner. But on Sunday, the rookie muffed his third punt of the season during the Chiefs’ 26-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
Reid said that Moore had at least responded well to his error.
“He was upset at himself,” he noted. “You never know until you get the guy here. We had heard that he was a competitive kid, but you don’t know — until you stick him in front of 70,000 people in the National Football League at the highest level — how they’re going to respond. And so I was proud of him for stepping right up and going. He had some nice plays for us there.”
Moore responded with his second straight week of solid offensive production, catching five passes for 36 yards. Following his muffed punt, the Chiefs’ defense picked the rookie up by forcing a three-and-out — but it appeared Reid and special teams coordinator Dave Toub had finally seen enough.
Veteran receiver Justin Watson replaced Moore as its punt returner the rest of the way.
“It looked like he caught the ball fairly easy back there and comfortable,” said Reid of Watson. “We’ll see. We’ll see. I haven’t met with Toub on it yet, but we’ll see where we go moving forward with it. But he seemed to be a pretty good catcher back there.”
The Chiefs entered the year with the intention of moving star returner Mecole Hardman off special teams, since they were expecting to have a boosted offensive role. Once it wasn’t working with Moore, the Chiefs replaced him with newcomer Kadarius Toney. But after Toney hurt his hamstring, Moore got another chance.
Since it didn’t work, Watson is likely to be the returner until Toney — who is considered “day-to-day” — returns to full health. Toub holds his weekly press conference with the media on Thursday.