Monday, October 7, 2013
No easy answers if Avery’s out
By Adam Teicher
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Donnie Avery, the most productive wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs this season, had to prematurely leave Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans because a shoulder bruise made it difficult for him to raise his hand above his head.
The Chiefs had no clarity Monday as to whether Avery would be available for this week’s game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium. Replacing Avery and his 19-yards-per-catch average would be a problem for the Chiefs.
They used a similarly fast player, A.J. Jenkins, in the second half against the Titans. Jenkins had the ball thrown his way one time but he didn’t make the catch. He has one reception this season for a measly six yards.
A better solution might be Chad Hall, acquired off waivers from the 49ers at the end of the preseason. Hall is only 5-foot-8 and 187 pounds, so he’s better suited to playing in the slot.
But the Chiefs seem to think he and a player with similar size, Dexter McCluster, work well together in the same lineup. The Chiefs used Hall a lot early in the Tennessee game and threw to him four times, but he caught just one pass for nine yards.
“Both he and (McCluster) are a little bit undersized,’’ coach Andy Reid said. “They’re smaller guys but they’ve got great quickness and we tried to utilize both at the same time.’’
Another option is Junior Hemingway, who has been productive in limited playing time. The problem with Hemingway is that he, paired with Dwayne Bowe, leaves the Chiefs without much speed at wide receiver.
That’s why Hall, or even Jenkins, would be a better choice for the Chiefs if Avery can’t play against Oakland.