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NFL Draft

Set Reasonable Expectations For Josh Gordon’s 2021 Debut

  • The Draft Network
  • October 5, 2021
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According to multiple reports, Josh Gordon will make his Kansas City Chiefs debut in Sunday night’s Week 5 primetime showdown against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. This game already promised to be one of the most appetizing contests on the entire 2021 NFL schedule, and it just added yet another compelling storyline to its slate.

The news comes just days after Gordon was signed to the Chiefs’ practice squad, and weeks after the NFLPA recommended Gordon for reinstatement upon the completion of his NFL-monitored treatment program. The timeline from reinstatement to playing in a game moved incredibly quickly for Gordon, adding yet another chapter to what’s been a rollercoaster of a career for the former Baylor standout. Gordon reportedly showed up to Kansas City in excellent shape, undoubtedly prompting the quick turnaround from the practice field to an official game that we are about to witness. The 30-year-old Gordon will now look for one final shot at redemption in an environment that should allow him to thrive if he puts his best foot forward. 

Sunday will mark the first time Gordon steps onto an NFL field since spending the second part of 2019 as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. The whole world will be watching Gordon make his triumphant and highly publicised return to the NFL in primetime fashion on Sunday night. That excitement could lead to unrealistic expectations, but it's important to note and remember that Gordon hasn't actually played in an NFL game in nearly two full years (December 2019), and hasn't topped 100 receiving yards in a single contest since November 2018. Gordon will likely have to be eased into action over the next few weeks, so expecting a monstrous performance in Week 5 would likely lead to inevitable disappointment.

From Kansas City's perspective, adding Gordon to the fray is well worth the gamble. The Chiefs sit at a surprising 2-2 through four weeks and continue to field question marks at the WR2 position. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce make up the best one-two punch in the NFL at the pass-catching positions, but this offense would take another step forward if Gordon could prove to be a legitimate WR2. As far as pure receivers go, Mecole Hardman currently owns that title in Kansas City, having recorded 13 receptions for 123 yards and one touchdown through four games. Byron Pringle (7-104-1) and Demarcus Robinson (6-72-1) slightly trail Hardman in all receiving categories, but truthfully all of these numbers are rather pedestrian, further proving how top-heavy the Chiefs are in the passing game.

So while there should be plenty of opportunities for Gordon to make his impact, let's wait a few weeks before reaching any conclusions regarding Gordon's role in Kansas City.

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