As we anxiously await the first full training camp practice, let’s keep the wheels turning among Kansas City Chiefs fans.
The last time, we discussed which of the Chiefs’ 2023 games would be the most important. Now let’s talk about training camp.
What player (not named Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce or Chris Jones) are you most interested to see at training camp?
My answer: wide receiver Justyn Ross
Some Kansas City fans believe Ross will become the team’s No. 1 wide receiver in 2023. Some think he will not make the 53-man roster. Right now, I’m in the latter group — but for just one reason: we don’t have any idea what Ross will look like when he plays full-contact scrimmages against NFL-level competition.
That’s because Ross still hasn’t taken a single training camp snap — much less play in a preseason game.
In college, Ross certainly showed us plenty of reasons to believe he could be a successful wide receiver at the next level — perhaps even one of the best. But every year, we see players come into training camp and fail to meet those kinds of expectations. Until we see Ross play in something that faintly resembles a full-contact NFL game, it’s foolhardy to even predict he will make the roster — much less be a star.
This is especially true because Ross isn’t just coming off a foot injury that he’s had to have two surgeries to correct. It’s because he was born with something called Klippel-Feil syndrome — a congenital spinal defect. Once he had been diagnosed with it, doctor after doctor told him they could not clear him to play football. After undergoing a medical procedure by Dr. David Okonkwo three years ago — from which he is said to have fully recovered — he has been cleared to play again. But no one known to have had this condition has ever played NFL football. No one knows what will happen.
It may be that I will change my mind about Ross. In fact, I hope I will. He could be an amazing NFL player — and have one of the greatest stories in league history. But I can’t make that kind of about-face until I have seen him play in full-contract scrimmages and preseason games.
Now it’s your turn. Aside from the team’s three biggest stars, what player will you be most interested to see at training camp?