KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs’ top wide receiver was the talk of the town after the season opener.
And not in a good way.
Three drops from Kadarius Toney weren’t the sole difference in the Kansas City’s 21-20 loss to the Detroit Lions to open the season, but they played a crucial role in the Chiefs’ demise.
The speedy third-year wideout missed almost all of training camp and preseason games recovering from knee surgery, and it showed with drops and timing issues plaguing Toney and the entire offense.
After the game, Toney couldn’t do anything but put the blame on himself after one catch for one yard on five targets.
“I look at how I told coach [Andy Reid], I told [Patrick Mahomes], you know, all the guys that’s on me,” Toney said on Wednesday.
“At the end of the day, y’all count on me and rely on me to make certain plays. And I got to be there to do that. It ain’t no really no excuse. Nothing you could blame it on none of that, I’m a man. I stand on 10 [toes] about it.”
This comes two days after head coach Andy Reid took the blame for Toney’s lackluster play.
“To be fair, I’ve gotta kind of look in the mirror on that one. I probably didn’t put him in the best position there. He doesn’t drop the ball. That’s just not his deal,” Reid said Monday.
“He’s a very, very secure catcher. The only way we’re going to get him back is playing him. I think this week will be different than last week.”
The 24-year-old said he’s already comfortable in the offense and with his team, he just has to put the work in to be better.
“It’s just more of me finding my routine and me getting back into, you know what I’m saying, the player I am,” Toney said.
“Gotta put the work in hard work. Spend 30 minutes, hour after practice, you know, catching [from the] Jugs [machine], catching from the quarterback, whatever I gotta do. I just gotta make sure I show when it’s time. “
And it certainly helps to have Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes preaching confidence to Toney on a daily basis.
“The best way to get rid of that is to go out and practice and then get back in the game and better,” Reid said.
“I’m not worried about him there. He’s a competitive kid and a heck of a player. I told you before, I kind of put him in a position where it’s tough, but he had to get in there and…. like get up caught up to speed, but he had no training camp. I thought it was important that he got in and then he’s gonna catch most of those.”
“I still think we have a great connection going,” Mahomes said about Toney and second-year receiver Skyy Moore who had no catches on three targets.
“I mean, obviously it doesn’t always work out in games. We didn’t execute a high enough level, me included, in that first game. But you have to keep building, you have to try to make yourself better. And I’ll try to do what I can to make it easier on them. And they’ll, they’ll go out there and make the plays happen.”
And the Chiefs have to forget that performance quickly as they get ready for a playoff rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Toney made a statement that could be the mindset for the entire team after coming off that loss.
“I think I gotta go put the work in. You know, there ain’t really too much talk with me left.”
Toney and the offense will certainly have another defensive challenge when they face the Jaguars on the road on Sunday at noon.