With the wide receivers struggling to grasp their new roles, within a very complex offense, many Kansas City Chiefs fans keep wondering when Head Coach, Andy Reid will take the training wheels off Justyn Ross. The fact he made the final 53-man roster is amazing considering the path it took, but the Chiefs don’t have a receiver his size and with his overall skillset that can create separation. So why isn’t he getting more reps?
Yes, I already know the argument against giving more reps to Wide Receiver, Justyn Ross, but I don’t care to hear any of them. With Skyy Moore struggling to get open, Kadarius Toney trying to get his sea legs back after missing all training camp and the preseason, and Rashee Rice beginning to understand the JuJu role he’s been asked to play this season, Ross quietly waits for his chance.
He’s been a staple on special teams, but he only had a few snaps Sunday against the New York Jets. Each week his reps have lessened while Moore’s have increased. I’m not knocking Moore one bit. I think he has terrific hands, runs decent routes, and works his tail off every snap. However, he’s just not been able to put it all together.
With his struggles, why not let Ross take some of his snaps? From all accounts, Ross understands the routes and the playbook, and since his early struggles in the OTA sessions, he’s been a playmaker on the practice field. We saw what he could do in the preseason catching a pair of touchdowns. He’s also a terrific blocker.
Ross’s path to the NFL is quite remarkable. His journey from one of the top high school recruits of all time to Clemson to the Chiefs to battling injuries throughout that winding road can only be summed up in a few words, the kid never gave up his dream to play in the NFL or himself.
When he was an undrafted free agent, he wanted to play for one team, the Kansas City Chiefs. He knew with a head coach like Andy Reid and a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes, he’d learn the NFL ropes. The fact he can lien on a veteran such as Tight End, Travis Kelce, doesn’t hurt either.
Ross has incredible talent. He’s driven, motivated, and committed to doing whatever it takes to get more reps on the field and to be a good teammate. However, as well intended as those attributes guide him daily, the kid needs his shot.
Mahomes has stated numerous times that Ross has talent and will impact this offense. General Manager, Brett Veach at the end of the preseason, indicated they had big plans for Ross in this offense when there was a question he’d even make the roster out of camp.
Along with Reid, new Offensive Coordinator, Matt Nagy has also sung his praises, and it’s up to him to convince the man calling the shots, to free Ross from the sidelines. Listen, I’m not saying Ross is going to become the next Jerry Rice, but with an offense searching for another receiver option outside of Kelce in the passing game, what do the Chiefs have to lose?
This weekend the Chiefs play one of the worst defensive teams in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings are woeful on that side of the ball and Kansas City should have a big day offensively. The Vikings’ corners are not very good, and they certainly could be exploited on Sunday afternoon by Mahomes and company.
If we assume, the Chiefs perform against the Vikings as they did against the Bears, and not the Jets, Ross should be able to get serious reps. The Chiefs over the next four games face the Broncos twice, the Chargers and the Vikings. Defensively, they are all suspect in the secondary so why not let Ross show Reid what he can do in live action?
If I look into my crystal ball to the future, I see Kadarius Toney, Rashee Rice, Skyy Moore, and Justyn Ross as the future of the wide receiver position in Kansas City. They are all young, and they’ll grow up together in this offense creating a solid core.
To date, Rice is the one who has made the most strides since camp began, while Moore has struggled the most. Toney as mentioned is still gaining his footing, Rice simply is waiting for his chance.
Sunday against the Vikings would be a great spot for Reid and Nagy to expand his reps and see if he can make an impact, especially in the Red Zone.
Again, I get why they are holding him back so they can bring him into the mix slowly, but it’s time to see what this young man can do on the field, especially before the schedule heats up against better opponents.
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