Polarizing Chiefs WR’s Status Raises Eyebrows Ahead of Super Bowl

One day before the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game, wide receiver Kadarius Toney was ruled out.

Kadarius Toney

Toney had participated in practice all week, so his late scratch was notable. Toney’s official designation on the injury report was “NIR (not injury related) personal reasons/hip. The personal part was due to Toney welcoming his first child on the eve before the matchup.

While numerous NFL players have participated in a game one day after their baby’s birth, Toney did not. A few hours before kickoff on January 28, Toney went on Instagram Live and trashed the team. He said, “I’m not hurt.” In the expletive-filled message, he claimed the team was lying about his health status. “I don’t f*** with ya’ll… hip, knee, nuh-uh.”

After the video went viral, it wasn’t clear what the Chiefs would do with Toney moving forward. Most fans were glad he wasn’t playing. With so many drops and penalties this season, he’s seen more as a liability for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

The Chiefs did not practice on Wednesday, January 31, but released an estimated injury report. Toney was listed as a full participant, which immediately turned some heads. His official designation was “NIR (Personal)” with no injury notes.

Thursday and Friday’s injury report will be more telling as the Chiefs practice those days. But the idea of such a polarizing player returning at this point sparked concern. Arrowhead Live posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Toney full participant 😤.” A fan commented, “Naw, keep him on ice lol.”

Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Downplayed the Kadarius Toney Drama, Denied Lying About His Injury

Chiefs Kingdom balked at Toney going on a public tirade just hours before a pivotal matchup. However, the former first-round pick’s outburst did not appear to distract the team. The Chiefs defeated the Ravens 17-10 and clinched their fourth Super Bowl berth in the past five years.

Speaking to reporters on January 29, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid addressed the elephant in the room with Toney. “Yeah, I actually haven’t seen it,” Reid said of the video. “I’ve heard people talk about it.”

“But um, yeah, he’ll be back out there,” Reid said of Toney returning to practice. “And we’ll see how he does.” As for the claim that the Chiefs are lying about his injury, he shut that narrative down. “Obviously, he’s been on the injury report. That part’s not made up by any means,” Reid said. “But he’s been working through some things. He’ll be back out there.”

Toney may return to practice this week, but his status against the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas remains unclear.

Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney Hasn’t Played Since Week 15

While Mahomes and Co. found their offensive spark in the postseason, they did so without Toney. The 25-year-old receiver 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.

In 13 games this season, Toney recorded 27 catches for 169 yards and one score. Toney’s teammates have largely defended Toney against outside criticism over his drops, penalties, and injury history. And despite his controversial accusations against the team, Reid seemed unfazed by the outburst.

While the Florida alum was absolutely clutch during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win last year, Toney may not be active for this year’s big game. With tight end Travis Kelce on fire, Marquez Valdez-Scantling making clutch plays, and rookie Rashee Rice continuing to be one of the most reliable receivers, the Chiefs may not need him.

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