Reporters caught up with Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney on Thursday afternoon for the first time since a potential game-winning touchdown, in which he received a cross-field lateral from tight end Travis Kelce and scored a touchdown.
The play was called back due to Toney lining up offsides on the play.
In Week 14 vs. the Bills, Kadarius Toney nullified Travis Kelce's impromptu lateral by being offsides— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) December 14, 2023
Final score: BUF 20 - 17 KC
Toney was asked about the magnitude of the moment and how big of a deal it was to have the flag thrown at that point in the game.
“Y’all wouldn’t be talking to me if it wasn’t a big deal,” he retorted. “At the end of the day, that’s my comment about it. I ain’t got nothing else to say.”
Toney also confirmed that neither the line judge who threw the flag, Mike Carr, nor head referee Carl Cheffers issued any kind of warning throughout the game about Toney lining up offsides.
“Nah, they didn’t,” said Toney. “And then they came back and lied and said they gave me a warning, which I never talked to the ref.”
After the game, head referee Carl Cheffers defended the call in an interview with reporter friend-of-the-site Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest.
“We would give them some sort of a warning if it was anywhere close, but this particular one is beyond a warning.”
The pool report with NFL senior VP of officiating Walt Anderson and referee Carl Cheffers on the offside penalty on Kadarius Toney and the upheld catch by Latavius Murray.— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) December 11, 2023
Short version: no rule requiring official to notify receiver they are offsides and this was "egregious." pic.twitter.com/8h1GrrU9F7
To his credit, Toney echoed quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ postgame comments, where he essentially said the worst part about the penalty being called was that it caused one of the most memorable highlights in Kelce’s career to be wiped off the board.
“Unfortunately, you know, they took back the greatest play, the greatest tight end that ever played the game done did,” said Toney.
Toney said he didn’t even realize the penalty was called on him until after the game was over.
“I really didn’t even find out that the penalty was on me until I was almost home. I really wasn’t even, like, in tune. I was more worried about what was going on, play by play.”
Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy defended Toney in his press conference Thursday afternoon, saying he did not believe Toney lined up offsides on purpose.
“None of it was intentional,” Nagy told reporters. “I think that’s the frustrating part for all of us is in a moment like that, that KT didn’t do that, maliciously or intentionally... It’s a big moment in the game, but it is what it is. And we got to learn from that.”
Nagy said that this was a good teaching moment for him and his coaching staff and that they are trying to use this as a teaching point to help the offense improve, “...and it doesn’t just have to be offsides on offense, it’s just, in general, the rules of the game and making sure that we lock in on that and we understand it and use it to our benefit.”
Hopefully, this will serve as a wake-up call and catalyst to Toney and the rest of the offense, and it will spur them on and force them to clean up some of the sloppy mistakes they’ve been made this season.