The Kansas City Chiefs are headed back to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years, but one of their players appeared to create some controversy off the field prior to their AFC Championship victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
An Instagram account associated with wide receiver Kadarius Toney went “live” on Jan. 28, with a man claiming he was “not hurt,” pointing out in a profanity-laced rant that his injury designations on the Chiefs’ official injury reports changed multiple times.
Toney has not played since Week 15 of the regular season. He was ruled out of the AFC title game due to a hip injury and personal reasons, as his partner gave birth to their child this past weekend, per ESPN.
Toney was ruled out of the divisional round matchup vs. the Buffalo Bills due to hip and ankle injuries after being listed as a limited participant in practice all week, and was listed as questionable for the Super Wild Card Weekend matchup vs. the Miami Dolphins with hip and ankle injuries. He did not play.
On Jan. 29, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid addressed the story that made waves on social media over the weekend, but didn’t offer much clarity on the subject — other than saying Toney was “working through some things.”
“I actually haven’t seen it. I’ve heard people talk about it,” Reid said, via ESPN. “Yeah, he’ll be back out there and we’ll see how he does.”
“Obviously he’s been on the injury report, so that part is not made up by any means. But he’s been working through some things and he’ll be back out there.”
On Super Bowl Opening Night on Monday, Toney clarified the comments he made on Instagram.
“I wanted to go out there and get my message across as far as my injury, but I shouldn’t have done that at the end of the day,” Toney said (via NFL Network). “I’m a man, and I can accept my mistakes, just like I accept my wins. But I’m moving past that right now, because we’re here now and we’re trying to win.”
Toney also claimed that he’s a No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL — as long as he gets the ball.
“Yeah, if I get it. If I get the ball, yeah.”
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In 13 games this season, Toney caught 27 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown. He suffered through multiple drops, and famously lined up offsides before catching what could have been the game-winning lateral from tight end Travis Kelce in the Week 14 loss to the Bills.
Toney’s status leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl will be something to watch. He played a large role in Kansas City’s Super Bowl win over the Philadelphia Eagles last year, catching a 5-yard touchdown pass and setting a Super Bowl record for longest punt return, which was 65 yards.