The Kansas City Chiefs opening-week victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars came at a cost.
Star receiver Tyreek Hill sustained a “sternoclavicular joint injury” in his shoulder and will be out for an undetermined amount of time. He won’t play in the Chiefs’ game Sunday in Oakland, which is a blow for the offense.
However, former Washington and Houston general manager Charley Casserly, who is now an NFL Network analyst, offered his thoughts on how the Chiefs will game-plan for Oakland.
“Defenses will tell you, you start with defending Tyreek Hill with double coverage and that opens up everything else,” Casserly said Friday on the NFL Network. “Now, Sammy Watkins played like a top-10 pick last week. Caught the ball well, quick, fast, elusive, all the things you want to see. The guy who played last week played like a top-10 pick. If he can carry that over, he’s going to create big plays.
“Now, Travis Kelce is the guy who might benefit the most here, because they might go to him more. Usually Hill gets doubled, Kelce it’s hard to double him, so you’ve got to jam him off the line. So look for Kelce to get a lot of targets. I think they won’t shy away from Watkins and also Mecole Hardman will come into the mix more as a gimmick guy, sweeps and screens and maybe some deep shots.
“The thing that struck me watching Kansas City, this is gonna be crazy: (quarterback Patrick) Mahomes might be better. How about that one? To me, he was doing a better job of reading the defense, spreading the field, spreading the ball around than he did last year and he had 50 touchdowns last year.”
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James Palmer, a reporter for the NFL Network, also discussed Hill’s absence for Sunday’s game on air. Palmer talked about how that will affect Mahomes and Mahomes’ ankle injury.
“This is something that Patrick Mahomes, during that MVP season, didn’t have to deal with, and that’s life without Tyreek Hill, and life with defensive coordinators having to prep an entire week knowing Tyreek Hill is not going to play and not going to be part of their focus on their game plan,” Palmer said.
“(Mahomes) does have that ankle (injury) that we’re going to keep an eye on on Sunday. I did the game in Jacksonville and he had some trouble leaving, limping on that left sprained ankle, leaving the stadium. Now, he’s practiced in full this entire week which is a really good sign. But he did admit in the middle of the week that it caused him issues really in spots he knows he can get out of things, he knows he can scramble, it’s one of the most dynamic aspects, outside of his arm that makes him such a wonderful quarterback, and he couldn’t get away at times. We’ll see if that’s the case going against the Raiders on Sunday and hopefully for the Chiefs this doesn’t linger any further.”
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