Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins returns kicks in practice
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins has never returned a kick in the NFL. However, that did not stop him from partaking in the special teams drills during organized team activities.
Kansas City has never been shy about looking into all their options on special teams. According to ESPN’s Adam Teicher, it appears Watkins was not exempt from that strategy:
Sammy Watkins was among a large group of players returning kickoffs at the start of Chiefs practice. The chances of Watkins, who has never returned a kickoff in an NFL game, returning even one in a game for the Chiefs are not good but it’s interesting he’s at least getting a look. It’s not uncommon for the Chiefs to ask different players to shag some kicks in practice. They did that with Marcus Peters after he first arrived.
As strange as it may seem, the strategy has worked out for them before. Kansas City helped former running back Knile Davis make the transition to special teams despite having never been a returner in college. Needless to say, the decision ultimately worked out as he went on to accrue 1,942 return yards and two touchdowns in his four seasons with the team.
Regardless, it is still highly unlikely that Watkins follows a similar path given his status as a big-play receiver. Although he may have spent some time as a returner during his college days at Clemson, it is safe to assume that he is more focused on bouncing back from a down year with the Los Angeles Rams. Fortunately, Kansas City has other more viable options in speedy wide receivers Tyreek Hill and De’Anthony Thomas to field the kicks moving forward.