Chris Conley's time has come, for one day at least

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jeremy Maclin and Albert Wilson were injured and didn't practice Wednesday, so the Kansas City Chiefs had to look elsewhere for their starting wide receivers.

They opted for Frankie Hammond Jr., a backup from last year, on one side. On the other, their choice was more inspired.

The Chiefs bypassed the talented Da'Rick Rogers and the veteran Junior Hemingway, among others, and went with rookie Chris Conley, a third-round draft pick.

The chance to get consistent snaps with quarterback Alex Smith and the other starters was meaningful to Conley, even if it's only for one day. Maclin has foot inflammation and Wilson a sore hamstring. Both could return to practice as soon as Thursday.

"It is, not necessarily because I'm taking anything from [being with the first team] but more so because it's still a job interview," Conley said. "Everything we do is still a job interview. Every rep I get to take with the [starters] is important because either I'm showing the potential of what I can be or I'm showing I still need to wait more. So each and every rep is important, especially when you're with that first group. You're getting your shot with the guys who are playing in the games on Sundays, so those reps are extremely important."

The Chiefs often shuffle lineup combinations to get a look at certain players with the starters, so that they went with Conley in and of itself means nothing.

But the Chiefs are desperate to get more big plays from their wide receivers and Conley is among a small group at that position capable of delivering them. At 6-3 and 205 pounds, he's one of their biggest wide receivers. He is fast, as his 4.35 time in the 40 at the scouting combine showed, and he has a long stride that should make him difficult to drag down in the open field.

"What jumps off the tape are kind of the physical skills right away," Smith said. "His running, jumping and catching is impressive and he's a really good kid and he comes to work every single day and I think that's the biggest thing for him because certainly the physical tools are all there.

"It's just a matter of obviously understanding what you're doing mentally and fine-tuning and really kind of getting into your craft and becoming the best at what you can be out here as a receiver and all of those little things that go into playing receiver. But I'm certainly very impressed with him.”

For now, perhaps, the Chiefs are only looking at Conley. But if he gives them what they want to see when they get to training camp, Conley could get some playing time when the regular season begins.