Chiefs WR Abruptly Ruled Out of Playoff Game Amid ‘Personal’ Reasons

One day before the Kansas City Chiefs face the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game, the team ruled out wide receiver Kadarius Toney. The move came as a surprise since Toney participated in practice on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Kadarius Toney

Toney’s official designation on the injury report was “NIR (not injury related) personal reasons/hip,” which raised some eyebrows. Kansas City gave no other details.

However, NFL Network’s James Palmer later posted, “Toney had his first child tonight. A baby girl. That’s where the personal part of his designation came from. He’s also dealing with a hip injury that is keeping him out tomorrow.”

While Chiefs Kingdom was happy for Toney, a large faction of fans was glad he was ruled out. With so many drops and penalties this season, many people see him more as a liability for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. One fan posted, “Tough break for Baltimore.”

Arrowhead Addict’s Adam Best pointed out how Toney was responsible for two of the Chiefs’ most pivotal offensive mistakes this season. “The Chiefs were literally 3 goofy mishaps away from being 14-3, same record as 2022,” Best posted. “Kadarius Toney tipped pass pick-six vs. Detroit. Kadarius Toney offsides vs. Buffalo. Marquez Valdes-Scantling TD drop vs Philly.”

Several fans found the move to be cold since it was announced on the receiver’s 25th birthday. One man posted, “Regardless of whatever reason, I hope he enjoys his birthday weekend anyway. Another person wrote, “Doubt it. I’m sure this season has taken a tremendous toll on him. Not really surprised by this.”

Toney hasn’t played since Week 15 against the New England Patriots, during which he caught 2-of-4 passes for 5 yards. His best game was back in Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings. Toney tallied 5 receptions for 26 yards. His sole touchdown this season was against the Denver Broncos in Week 6.

Chiefs Wide Receiver Kadarius Toney’s Future With the Chiefs Appears Shaky

In 13 games this season, Toney recorded 27 catches for 169 yards and one score. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and his teammates have largely defended Toney against outside criticism over his drops, penalties, and injury history.

Chiefs analyst Seth Keysor posted, “Curious to see what the next step is with KC and Toney. They’ve really pushed through trying to get him involved, and it just hasn’t worked.”

Toney underwent surgery in July for a partial meniscus tear, which Reid explained as the reason for his lack of snaps in mid-November. “We’re taking it easy with him up to this point,” Reid said. “Just making sure he can make it through the year in good health.”

After Toney’s offensive offsides call negated tight end Travis Kelce’s touchdown pass against Buffalo in December, Reid and Mahomes were slapped with hefty fines for blaming the refs. They both later admitted they were wrong and apologized.

Toney, who was traded to the Chiefs from the New York Giants ahead of the 2022 NFL season, has another year on his $13.7 million contract. Kansas City saves no money if they cut him. They will get hit with just over $2.5 million in dead money.

The former first round pick from the 2021 NFL draft was absolutely clutch during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win last year. However, it’s not clear how much berth that will buy him moving forward.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes & Co. Found Their Offensive Spark in the Postseason

The Chiefs offense was consistently inconsistent heading into the postseason, but Mahomes and Co. have found their stride in the playoffs. And the team’s recent offensive surge happened without Toney on the field.

Kansas City crushed the Miami Dolphins 26-7 in the Wild Card round. Mahomes and Kelce made NFL history during their 27-24 win over the Bills. The All-Pro tight end hadn’t scored a touchdown in seven straight games, but he hauled in two scores on the road at Highmark Stadium. Mahomes and Kelce now have the most postseason touchdowns (16) by a QB-receiver duo. A streak they can extend against the Ravens on Sunday, January 28.

While Kansas City is playing in their 6th consecutive AFC Championship game, Kelce told reporters on January 26, “I want it more than I’ve ever wanted one in my life.” The future Hall of Famer explained how the adversity this season only made them stronger.

“We’re resilient. We grew together. You saw the struggles. You saw the growth. I think that’s what makes us special. Just come into that locker room and you’ll see that chemistry. You’ll see how much we want it for the guy next to us. That’s when you know you’ve got a real good team.”

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