With an MRI scheduled today for Marc Boerigter, the Chiefs are moving forward without him. That means four unlikely receivers will get an opportunity to make an even bigger impact on the Chiefs offense.
Right now Eddie Kennison and Dante Hall are the teams starting wide receivers. With NFL rosters shrinking to 65 players to teams without NFL Europe exemptions; the list of starting wide receivers being available are slim to none.
It's already been reported that the Chiefs might try and pry Keenan McCardell away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but that's not likely. First of all McCardell is 33 years old and believes he's one of the Top Five receivers in the NFL. He resurrected his career with the Bucs and as thanks for that opportunity after already receiving a terrific contract just a year ago, he wants more cash.
In fact the Chiefs were reportedly close to signing him last off-season but he took Kansas City's offer to Tampa Bay and they exceeded the guarantee. Thus McCardell chose Tampa Bay over Kansas City. But he has yet to step on the field this season due to a contract holdout that is without merit.
The Chiefs other starting wide receiver from a year ago, Johnnie Morton, quite likely will get a medical settlement from the Chiefs as they'll probably make him one of their cuts on Tuesday. Morton's Achilles Heal is so bad that if he were to play on it, the damage could be irreparable and career ending if tries to play on it this year. There is no secret the Chiefs and Morton aren't a good fit and this injury is a perfect remedy to cleanly separate these two parties. Morton has been a disappointment since signing a big time free agent contract two years ago. Regardless of the injury, his performance in the Colts Playoff loss a year ago already might have sealed his fate with the Chiefs this season. He dropped two critical passes that could have changed the outcome of the game.
Another rumor that hit the internet wires this past spring centered on Plaxico Burress of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Burress made overtures that he was going to sit out this season without a new contract but he reported to camp on time and has thus far not indicated any malcontent. It seems that he would be a good fit for the Chiefs offense but at what price. The Steelers are looking for a back-up running back and both Larry Johnson and Derrick Blaylock of the Chiefs would make a good fit for the Steelers running attack.
But that trade is not realistic with Burress entering his free agent year, so the Chiefs will rely more on Dante Hall. That means that Larry Johnson is likely to stick on the roster because he could handle the kick-off duties for the Chiefs and that way Dante Hall would be limited to retuning punts. Johnson has shown flashes of being a good return man and he could certainly spell Hall from time to time. It's apparent that Hall must be a significant piece of the Chiefs wide receiver corps now that Boerigter is going to miss significant time.
Eddie Kennison saw his first action on Saturday night and he should be in game shape when the season starts two weeks from today in Denver. But the real pressure of the offense falls on Parker and Smith.
In last night's game, Smith had one nice catch but Parker only played a handful of plays. Chris Horn had a 50-yard catch and also handled the punt return and kick-off duties. Horn is a Boerigter type of receiver though he does not have his size. He has decent hands and can run crisp routes.
Smith has been the surprise of training camp and he's a lock to make the roster and his adaptation and assimilation of the Chiefs offense has impressed everyone including the head coach Dick Vermeil and starting quarterback Trent Green.
Wilson has played the H-Back and Tight End slot but now he could be used to split out at receiver or Tony Gonzalez could line up outside. The Chiefs also have Jason Dunn who is a natural tight end so the offense is not without options if the wide receivers need more seasoning.
Parker has the ability to be a starter in the NFL but he just needs time to develop his route running skills. He has the hands and speed but lacks the true confidence that Smith has in the offense. But the Chiefs have very few options since starting wide receivers don't grow on trees this time of year.
But Chiefs fans should not despair; they still have a healthy offensive line, Trent Green, Priest Holmes and Gonzalez to carry the load. Remember that for the most part Boerigter was unable to claim the results he had in 2002 last season and Morton was ineffective. So if one or two of the four rookies can step up, the Chiefs offense won't miss a beat.