The Kansas City Chiefs suffered a disappointing loss in the NFL season opener against the Detroit Lions, but Patrick Mahomes isn't giving up on wide receiver Kadarius Toney.
It was an ugly night for Toney, who was targeted five times but ended up with just one reception for a single yard. To make matters worse, Toney had multiple drops, including one that was snagged by Lions rookie Brian Branch for a pick-six, and another on a wide-open look late in the fourth quarter that would have put the Chiefs in position for a game-winning field goal.
While Mahomes would be justified in being frustrated with his young receiver, the Chiefs quarterback isn't giving up on Toney after just one game in 2023.
"I have trust in [Toney]," Mahomes said after the game. "He missed a lot of training camp, and obviously he wanted to play and fought [during] rehab hard so he could play and stuff's not always going to go your way. Obviously he would've wanted to catch a few of those in the game, but I've trusted he's going to be that guy that I go to in those crucial moments, and he's going to make the catch and win us some games like he did last year. So we're going to continue to work him in, get him more and more reps, and I'm sure that those drops will kind of disappear."
The Chiefs acquired the disgruntled former first-round pick from the New York Giants last season in a midseason trade, and he showed flashes in brief stints. The highlight of Toney's season came in the Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles with a five-yard touchdown reception in the win.
However, Toney is expected to have a much larger role in Kansas City now that Smith-Schuster is gone. Mahomes has few options at wide receiver he can trust, especially when Travis Kelce isn't available, and the Chiefs are hoping that Toney can turn things around quickly, or else they may have to look elsewhere for another offensive weapon.
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