Jeremy Maclin, despite suffering an ankle sprain in the Kansas City Chiefs' 30-0 AFC Wild Card Round win over the Houston Texans, will play in Saturday's AFC Divisional Round matchup against the New England Patriots.
ESPN.com's Field Yates was the first to report the 27-year-old wideout will suit up at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
That news is big for quarterback Alex Smith and the Kansas City offense, which frequently relied on the receiver this season. Maclin signed with the Chiefs this offseason and promptly led the team with 87 receptions for 1,088 yards and eight touchdowns.
Maclin's presence was a huge boon to Kansas City's wide receiver corps, as ESPN Stats & Information noted:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
2014 Chiefs: 0 TD from wide receivers 2015 Chiefs: 12 TD from wide receivers (8 from Jeremy Maclin)1/9/2016, 3:00:25 PM
He has certainly been reliable, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report:
Matt Miller @nfldraftscout
#NFL1000 notes: Jeremy Maclin (@jmac___19) comes in with the best "Hands" grade of the season.1/6/2016, 10:08:29 PM
While Maclin will play, it remains uncertain if he'll be 100 percent or even an effective target. If he's still hobbled, the Chiefs could use him as a decoy to create favorable matchups with their other weapons in the passing game.
If that's the case, Smith will have to rely more on tight end Travis Kelce and wide receivers Albert Wilson, Chris Conley and Jason Avant. However, expect Maclin to be a major part of the game plan if he isn't too compromised.