Life just got that much harder for a Kansas City Chiefs offense that has struggled to find consistent playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.
Entering Week 6, Justin Watson was the Chiefs’ leading wide receiver, but during the course of the game, he suffered an elbow injury.
#Chiefs WR Justin Watson, who leads his team with 21.9 yards per catch, suffered a dislocated elbow last night, sources say. X-Rays were negative and he’s getting an MRI now. He’s out a few weeks at least, and it could be longer based on the results of the scans.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 13, 2023
He was promptly ruled out of the game, and Andy Reid provided a somewhat optimistic update afterward. “Justin Watson, is really the one that got hurt.” Reid said. “No other guys. (Justin Watson) hurt his elbow. We’ll see how he does here. It’s not broken so that’s a positive thing.”
The latest update, however, suggests that Watson could miss several weeks due to his injury. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Watson suffered a dislocated elbow.
X-rays were negative for any breaks as Andy Reid suggested, but MRIs will reveal if there is any accompanying ligament damage.
If there is no ligament damage, this is a 4-6 week injury. If the MRI reveals that he needs surgical intervention, Watson could be sidelined until nearly the playoffs. Either way, expect Watson to be placed on injured reserve in the coming days.
What does this mean for the Chiefs’ offense?
As Rapoport mentioned, Watson leads the Chiefs with 21.9 yards per reception. He’s currently the team’s top big-play threat at the wide receiver position.
He’s the most consistent receiver when it comes to getting open on deep routes and he’s the most consistent when it comes to catching passes on those routes (as ironic as that might seem).
The good news is, this should move everyone up a bit in the pecking order. Younger guys like Rashee Rice and Justyn Ross will be relied upon in a greater capacity, which is something that fans crave. Look for Montrell Washington to also begin to see some work on offense in addition to his role as a punt and kick returner on special teams.
Anyone celebrating this injury for the above reasons is flat-out wrong. This won’t help solve any of the issues on offense and takes away one of Patrick Mahomes’ most trusted targets for the foreseeable future.