Over a 24-hour period, reports, rumors and takes ran wild as news regarding Kasnasa City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney and his injured knee injury trickled out via the player podium and social media.
Head coach Andy Reid took the podium on Tuesday, setting the record straight about the receiver’s status.
“Kadarius had surgery on his knee [Tuesday] morning for cartilage,” said Reid. “It should be relatively quick as we go here. He wanted to get that thing taken care of.”
Later in the presser, Reid detailed what happened as the former 20th overall pick fielded a punt on Sunday.
“Part of his meniscus tore,” said Reid. “He might have had a little something in there anyway, and it just caught a little bit more — so you take care of those things, get it knocked out.”
Correcting a previous report, Reid said Toney’s last surgery happened in May of 2022, when he was still a member of the New York Giants. The timeline from that year tracks roughly two months earlier than the start of the season this year, but it’s worth noting he was available for Week 1 that year.
This time around, Reid is saying there is a “chance” for the first game.
“We’ll just have to see how the recovery goes with him,” said Reid. “He’s bound and determined he’s going to be there for the first game. We’ll see how it goes.
“I’m glad they caught it, that it happened this early, where he can get himself back. We’ve got a lot of time still left. He’s a smart kid, so he picks this stuff up fairly easy. I don’t think he’s going to have a tough time getting back in; it’s just getting back into football shape.”
In the middle of last season, the Chiefs sent third-round compensatory and sixth-round selections in exchange for Toney, who arguably had the Super Bowl’s most important play when his 65-yard punt return turned a back-and-forth game into one in the Chiefs’ control. A couple of plays earlier, he caught Kansas City’s go-ahead touchdown.
Reid was not ready to say that this particular situation would lead the Chiefs to take him off special teams — though offseason chatter pointed to newly-acquired wide receiver Richie James taking over punt-return duties, anyway.
That’s because of Toney’s expected impact on the 2023 offense, where he was expected to take over as No. 1 wide receiver following the departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes maintains that is still in the cards for the 24-year-old.
When you a Warrior nun kan stop you……Been fighting thru old injuries, adversity, and Obstacles all my life. I Know God Got Me Fasho ❤️— Kadarius Toney (@0fficialC2N) July 25, 2023
“I think his head’s in the right spot regardless,” said Mahomes of Toney. “He came in with a mentality that he was going to work and try and get himself better, and obviously, he had a little deal happen.
“I think the best thing about it is he can get it cleaned up or whatever it is — he’s in all the meetings. He’s still watching film with me and we’re talking through everything that we’re doing. So as long as his head’s right there and he’s learning that way, I have no doubt his physical ability will be there. I’m just glad that he’s here — [that] he’s going to be in the building [for] all these different meetings — because this is where we set the offense on how we’re going to go throughout the season.”
Asked what Toney will miss on the sideline, Mahomes’ answer was simple: reps.
“I think the good thing is we’re hopeful that we’ll have him back for that first game,” he noted. “It’s just getting those reps — and then hopefully, when we get him back out there, he can just pick up where he left off. We got a lot of reps this summer and the offseason, so I think that helped out a ton.
“His talent — everybody knows how talented he is. I’m just excited for him to learn the offense from the start. Last year, he picked it up as we were advancing it; now he gets to see the beginning and work his way through it, and I’m excited for him when he gets back, he’ll be ready to go.”
At this writing, Thursday night, September 7 — opening night of the NFL season, when the Chiefs host the Detroit Lions — is 44-plus days away. A lot can happen between now and then — and perhaps Toney recovers faster than usual.
Mahomes did not have a precise answer when asked who could possibly fill Toney’s role in the meantime, but in Tuesday’s workout, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore and Justin Watson got most of the work with the first team.
James, Rashee Rice and Justyn Ross also mixed in throughout the workout.
You can find my complete observations from Tuesday’s practice here.
Post-practice chat and press conferences
- Did not practice (due to injury): WR Kadarius Toney (knee injured on 7/23)
- Limited: RB Isiah Pacheco (hand, labrum)
- Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List: DT Tershawn Wharton (ACL)
Tweet of the day
The Chiefs’ backup kicker (No. 20) at work pic.twitter.com/0ZeKaMODQU— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 25, 2023
I have always found 20 to be an odd number for a kicker.
Quote of the day
Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon after a reporter suggested he’s like Yoda: “I feel young — I still got the juice. I don’t know about Yoda, I don’t know about Yoda. [I’m] well-seasoned.”
The Chiefs return to the practice field on Wednesday morning for their fourth full-team practice of training camp. The workout begins at 9:15 a.m. Arrowhead Time. Offensive coordinator Matt Nagy will address the media following the practice as the team’s defensive backs sign autographs. Here’s the complete 2023 training camp schedule.