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Jeremy Maclin Injury Update: Chiefs WR Will Play in 2016 Divisional Round

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09: Jeremy Maclin #19 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts before the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2016

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:

He has certainly been reliable, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report:

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. 

 

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