Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins is expected to miss "possibly a couple weeks" with a hamstring injury suffered Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders, according to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN. Schefter also notes that doctors are still evaluating the injury.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke about Watkins' impact on the offense on Monday when he was asked about the possibility of Watkins missing time in the upcoming weeks.
"Sammy’s a good player," Reid said. "We’ll see how he does here. The guys are just coming in now, so we’ll see how it looks. If Sammy can’t play, we’ve done that throughout last year, for a few games the year before that. So, we just put the next man up and go. But I’m not going to take away from how good of a player he is. He’s a terrific player, but we also have some other guys that can play, too."
The "other guys" that Reid refers to include fellow wide receivers Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle, who all saw extra snaps in Watkins' absence against the Raiders. Hardman was on the field for 69% of the offense's snaps, Robinson had 68%, and Pringle took 14%. The Chiefs' top pass-catchers, receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, were on the field for 88% and 89% of the snaps, respectively.
Even with their significantly increased snaps, Hardman only caught two passes for 50 yards, while Robinson caught two for two yards. Pringle caught one pass for a 23-yard touchdown.
Since joining the Chiefs in 2018, the Kansas City offense has been at its best when Watkins has been on the field. Unfortunately, Watkins played just 10 games in 2018 and 14 in 2019, as he's battled with injuries since his sophomore season in the league. Now, it seems likely that Watkins will miss at least the Chiefs' upcoming Week 6 showdown with the Buffalo Bills, which kicks off Monday afternoon.
The Bills, who drafted Watkins in 2014, are one of the Chiefs' top rivals for the top seed and first-round playoff bye in the AFC as the Chiefs, Bills, Steelers, Titans, Ravens and Browns all have either one or zero losses at this point in the season.
After the Bills game, the Chiefs' schedule lightens up with games against the struggling Denver Broncos and New York Jets before moving on to the Carolina Panthers and a rematch with the Raiders.