It didn't take the Kansas City Chiefs long to promote wide receiver Josh Gordon. Just over a week after it was revealed that the team would be signing the 30-year-old wideout to join the practice squad, Gordon was signed to the 53-man roster on Tuesday. In a corresponding move, the Chiefs placed rookie defensive end Joshua Kaindoh on injured reserve due to a left high-ankle sprain, per Nate Taylor of The Athletic.
While many believe that means Gordon is a lock to receive heavy snaps — or any snaps at all — that may not necessarily be the case. Taylor's tweet indicated that another impressive week of practice is much-needed for the former Browns, Patriots and Seahawks standout to officially debut on the field for the Chiefs. To this point, by all accounts, he's looked the part of a productive player.
Gordon's arrival, regardless of his workload on Sunday, comes just in time for the Chiefs. A pivotal home game against a fellow AFC foe, the Buffalo Bills, is on the horizon. In a rematch of last season's AFC Championship Game, Sean McDermott's squad will look to make a statement and continue playing terrific football while Andy Reid's is seeking a two-game winning streak for the first time this season. Conner Christopherson of Arrowhead Report joined me on today's Roughing the Kicker podcast to talk about what to expect from Gordon should he indeed be activated on Sunday.
First and foremost, Reid's offense is very complex. I highly doubt that Gordon has a full grasp of it already, but there is definitely a chance that he's picked up enough of it via film study, team practice, individual work and absorbing the Chiefs' playbook to get on the field at least a bit on Sunday. I'd imagine Reid has a few plays drawn up that involve Gordon directly, regardless of whether he'll end up on the receiving end of a Patrick Mahomes pass. He should get his feet wet this weekend at the very least.
In terms of total snaps, somewhere between 10-15 sounds about right. Gordon isn't going to come in and set the league on fire — even at his age, his development within the Chiefs' offense will take time. The former All-Pro hasn't played in the NFL in a couple of years and expecting him to pick up right where he left off would be an unreasonable ask. Look to see Reid slowly work Gordon into the fold as he potentially surpasses players like Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson on the depth chart over the next month or so.
Gordon's numbers almost surely won't pop as a member of the Chiefs. With that said, his receptions project to be impactful. His large frame and ability to beat one-on-one coverage lead to him being an ideal third-down and red zone target. For as fast as Hardman is, he can't do the things Gordon can do. The same goes for Robinson for the most part, despite his prototypical "X" receiver traits. Gordon is a different beast, and one the Chiefs have the ability to involve in their already potent offensive attack.
Think back to Sammy Watkins. When on the field, Watkins came up with clutch catches and helped move the chains. Was he dominant on a down-to-down basis? Not really. Could the Chiefs rely on him when Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce wasn't open? Yes (when Watkins was healthy). That cannot be said for Hardman or Robinson. Gordon might be able to change things.
Don't expect that to immediately be the case, though. Sunday's game will be a good test to see how quickly the Chiefs plan on throwing Gordon into the fire. All things considered — Gordon's time away from football, the complexity of the offense and the trio of Hardman, Robinson and Pringle having at least some positive moments this season — they can afford to take things slowly. That process begins against the Bills, though.
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