The Kansas City Chief’s struggling offense took another hit when news broke that Dwayne Bowe’s rib injury will sideline him for the remainder of the season.
Pro Football Talk reported the news via Twitter:
Per league source, Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe has multiple broken ribs and will be placed on IR.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 11, 2012
It hasn't been the smoothest season for the mercurial wide receiver, and when he returns to the football field next year, it will not be for the Chiefs.
The first bump in the road came in the summer when the Chiefs used their franchise tag on Bowe instead of signing him to a long-term deal. This led to a holdout that caused the 28-year-old to miss all of training camp.
Despite the offseason contract dispute and Kansas City’s quarterback woes, Bowe still put up respectable numbers. He will finish the year with 59 catches for 801 yards and three touchdowns.
Had he avoided this injury, he certainly would have had a shot at reaching 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth time in his career.
Bowe established his potential to be a franchise wide receiver in 2010 when he caught 15 touchdown passes, but he has not put up even half that total in any other campaign throughout his career.
In the offseason, both Bowe and the Chiefs will have to evaluate their options.
As Adam Teicher of The Kansas City Star notes, Bowe has adamantly denied any rumors that he wishes to leave the Chiefs, but the team may not be on the same page as its star wide out.
Kansas City already opted not to sign Bowe to a long-term deal, and now, Scott Pioli will have the same decision on his hands again this offseason. Spending top-dollar on a player who will turn 29 next season and has a history of letting himself get out of shape in the offseason (as Teicher notes) makes little sense for the team.
What will the Chiefs do with Bowe?
The Chiefs are clearly in the beginning stages of a rebuilding period, and the team is best off loading up on draft picks and saving money to re-sign its top young talents.
While Bowe’s first choice may not be to leave Kansas City, he will not mind getting a lucrative deal from another team as a free agent.
The New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis Rams are all teams who are competing for playoff spots this year and could certainly use another wide receiver. Whether or not they reach the postseason, these teams could go searching the free-agent market for a wideout after this year ends.
With the direction the Chiefs are moving, it makes little sense for them to compete with teams desperate to add one final piece in order to make a push towards the playoff, and this offseason, Bowe will leave Kansas City.