Sammy Watkins in Concussion Protocol, Has Neck Injury, Per Chiefs' Andy Reid

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) is introduced before an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins is in the concussion protocol and is dealing with a neck injury after taking a hard hit in Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers

"It's more neck now than the other part," head coach Andy Reid said Thursday, per Adam Teicher of ESPN.

He left Sunday's game after his lone catch in the fourth quarter and did not return.

Watkins suffered a hamstring injury during the 2019 season on his way to 14 games and has dealt with durability issues throughout his career. He has not played a full 16-game schedule since he was a rookie during the 2014 campaign and appeared in just 10 games in 2018 and eight games in 2016.

He finished the 2018 season with 40 catches for 519 yards and three touchdowns and followed up with 52 catches for 673 yards and three touchdowns in 2019 for the champion Chiefs.

While he hasn’t been as productive with Kansas City as he was with the Buffalo Bills in 2014 and 2015 with a combined 2,029 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches, he is still an important part of the offense and has eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown this season.

The Clemson product has enough speed to take advantage of single coverage created by additional attention Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill draw and proved what he is capable on a big stage with 114 receiving yards and a touchdown in the AFC Championship Game win over the Tennessee Titans and another 98 receiving yards in the Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers.

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Fortunately for the Chiefs, they have other pieces to keep the aerial attack afloat.

Hill and Kelce will remain as the top targets for Patrick Mahomes, while Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman provide important depth.