The Kansas City Chiefs have signed former Buffalo Bills receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, to fill-in for the injured Sammy Watkins.
Watkins is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a foot injury that he sustained in practice this past Thursday. Benjamin was waived by the Bills on Tuesday and was then officially signed by the Chiefs Friday morning.
It's almost certain that Benjamin will not play this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. But, head coach, Andy Reid, did leave open the possibility that he could suit up against the Los Angeles Chargers next Thursday night.
One reason the signing of Kelvin Benjamin makes sense for the #Chiefs: WR Sammy Watkins tried to go in practice yesterday and couldn’t. His foot isn’t quite ready, and rest might be the only answer. With the playoffs looming, the best option is likely to rest until January.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 7, 2018
It's likely that Watkins will miss the rest of the season, which will mean the Chiefs will lean on Benjamin to produce as he has in the past. Ever since the Carolina Panthers traded him away, he hasn't been producing like he has use to.
In 18 games with the Bills he has recorded, 39 catches for 571 receiving yards. He has also only hauled in two touchdowns during that time. Compared to his eight games with the Panthers before he was traded, he completed 32 receptions for 475 yards along with two touchdowns.
The decline in his stats make sense compared to the different quarterbacks he has had playing with him. With the Panthers, he was utilized as a very effective deep threat receiver by Cam Newton.
However, the Bills definitely don't have a caliber quarterback like Newton, which has been a big part to why Benjamin's numbers have gone down. But, now that he has a good quarterback again in Patrick Mahomes.
When Benjamin eventually does step onto the field, the Chiefs plan to use him the exact same way as they did with Watkins. With the other weapons the Chiefs have, Benjamin should be able to create open looks as opposing defenses will have to worry more about Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
The Chiefs pounced on the chance to replace Watkins with Benjamin, because of how he fits with their offense. Benjamin and Watkins are very similar players, which means that once he understands the Chiefs' playbook he should produce similar to how he did back when he was a Panther.
WHAT THIS MEANS
This is a great acquisition for the Chiefs. They bring in a player who has very similar attributes to Watkins. Benjamin desperately needed a change of scenery, especially when it means going from the bottom feeding Bills to the AFC leading Chiefs.
Benjamin should thrive in this new role with the Chiefs. If he does, then the Chiefs offense will be even more stacked offensively when Watkins does return from injury during the playoffs.