November 26, 2022

The Week 11 win over the Los Angeles Chargers was important but also costly for the Kansas City Chiefs. Several players left the game early due to injuries as the team filled holes with a few rookies and backups to end the night.

The punt return duties have shifted a few times this season, having originally been in the hands of rookie WR Skyy Moore. Two costly muffed punts earlier this season spoiled the idea for many fans to continue. The wideout didn’t have much experience in the punt returner role and it showed early on.

The role could soon return to Moore following Kadarius Toney’s hamstring injury. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub discussed his options on Tuesday, starting with rookie CB Trent McDuffie before shifting the focus to Moore and Justin Watson.

“Yes, there is a lot of thought,” said Toub. “He’s a lot closer now than last week. When (Kadarius) Toney is beaten up, we’ll bring him back in at practice and get him ready to go. He’s not far away. I mean, I think Skyy (Moore) is a guy who’s probably the next – obviously – he was the next guy. So this week he’ll be up and ready to roll, but we have other guys as well. Justin Watson – he’s another guy that can do it.

Toney had returned just one punt for five yards on Sunday before his night ended with a hamstring injury. Moore replaced him during the game while also delivering his best wide receiver performance of his young career.

As for McDuffie, he is expected to get work as a punt returnee, if only to support Moore in the event of an injury. Toub doesn’t want to divert him from his other special teams responsibilities, as well as those on defense.

“We’re comfortable with some of the guys that we have, but (Trent) McDuffie is definitely one of them that we need to bring him up to speed and get him ready,” Toub said. “But he’s also a corner on punt returns. He starts there for us now because I (L’Jarius) took Sneed from it. Sneed has done a great job for us. Now McDuffie’s in there – he’s the starting corner, left corner, on punt returns. So, (when) you take him out and use him as a punt returner, you’ve got to find someone on the corner. So right now he’s going to be that guy, but he’s also going to be a backup punt returner.

The Chiefs will have time to decide against the Los Angeles Rams before Sunday’s game, but it could prove a costly decision if Toub chooses Moore. The young receiver’s confidence is high after a big game and he might be better suited to focus solely on his growing role in the passing game.

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