For the first time in the Reid-Chiefs era (2013), Kansas City will keep 7 wide receivers at the initial 53-man roster deadline, I can confirm.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) August 29, 2023
Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, Justin Watson, Richie James, Rashee Rice and as @ByNateTaylor said, Justyn Ross. https://t.co/3V4yst5FuP
As we have noted in our projections, head coach Andy Reid had never kept more than six wide receivers at the deadline, so the decision to go ahead with seven is unprecedented. Kansas City’s initial roster will feature wide receivers Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, Justin Watson, Richie James, Rashee Rice and Justyn Ross.
Ross making 2023’s initial roster continues quite the comeback story — one that started when the Chiefs signed him as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 NFL Draft.
In 2020, Ross overcame a congenital fusion of two vertebrae in his neck — a disorder known as Klippel-Feil syndrome to continue his college football career at Clemson, but then his 2021 season was cut short due to a stress fracture in his foot. Around this time last year, Ross underwent surgery to the same foot — and was placed on injured reserve.
Ross rehabbed around his Chiefs teammates during the 2022 championship season, allowing him to get acclimated to Kansas City’s playbook. After the long wait, head coach Andy Reid afforded him training camp reps with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who liked what he saw.
The 6-foot-4, 209-pound wide receiver projects as an excellent red-zone target for Mahomes to start the season — with a lot of room for growth. Ross may have lost a couple of prime football years due to injuries, but he now truly begins his NFL career at the age of 23.