With a ton of potential in the Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver room, that position will be one that’s closely watched when training camp is underway on July 27.
A surplus of pass-catchers means that not all of them will make the active roster come September. While probability says that several spots on the roster will be reserved for Kansas City’s veteran receivers and for second-round pick Skyy Moore, it’s very possible that one of the experienced receivers on the squad could be cut to save space for one of the several inexperienced pass-catchers competing this summer.
That’s why one Chiefs insider believes that Kansas City’s oldest receiver won’t make the team’s 53-man roster next season.
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Teicher: Josh Gordon Won’t Make KC’s Active Roster
ESPN Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher dished out his first 53-man roster projection for the 2022 season on June 21. Headlining his projection is the exclusion of one veteran receiver that was on the Chiefs roster in 2021: Josh Gordon.
Teicher has JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman, Skyy Moore, and Daurice Fountain as the receivers making the active roster next season.
“The top four seem set and it’s difficult to see a place for Josh Gordon if he doesn’t earn a lot of playing time because he doesn’t help on special teams,” Teicher explained. “That’s why I went with Fountain as the spare receiver. But the Chiefs have many candidates to consider during training camp and the preseason.”
Teicher’s projection comes as a bit of a surprise, especially when considering how different Gordon, 31, has looked this offseason based on the reports from media on-scene for OTAs and minicamp and from head coach Andy Reid.
“You guys were out there, you could see that [Josh Gordon’s] running better, catching better,” Reid said. “He’s working hard at all of this. He’s a good kid and he’s smart, so that helps. That’s the way he’s approached this whole thing and he’s getting reps, so he can get himself back where he wants to be.”
Chiefs WR Coach Has ‘Big Expectations’ for Gordon
Gordon was reinstated by the NFL last year and signed with the Chiefs practice squad on September 27. After having not played football since 2019, Gordon managed to get promoted to Kansas City’s 53-man roster by October 5 but had a minimal impact during his first season back in the NFL.
In 12 regular-season games, Gordon was targeted by quarterback Patrick Mahomes 14 times and caught 5 of those passes for 32 yards, and had 1 receiving touchdown, according to Pro Football Reference. That productivity came while playing 25% of the team’s total offense snaps in those games.
Despite a lackluster season from the former All-Pro, the Chiefs re-signed Gordon on March 8. That showed Andy Reid and his coaching staff’s support for what they have seen thus far from Gordon in a Chiefs uniform. So much so that Gordon’s position coach, Joe Bleymaier, gushed over Gordon and what he’s seen from the 31-year-old receiver.
“I have big expectations for Josh,” Bleymaier said on June 2. “Like you said, the offseason here, when he got here it was just (doing) as much as we could do to get him on the field and having him knowing his assignments. He is extremely smart and intelligent and he knew he tackled all of those challenges and he did what we needed last year.
“Now he can kind of understand (the) why, get on the same page with Pat [Mahomes], understand the timing and how he fits in with everybody else. Not only the reps, but the depth and the feel and him getting his stride back, realizing where he was when he was at the top of his game — how he was doing that. That’s really where I’ve seen him come this spring.”
Chiefs Insider Projects Former All-Pro Won’t Make Active Roster