ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The starting wide receivers for the Kansas City Chiefs at practice on Tuesday were Frankie Hammond Jr. and Fred Williams. In that sense, at least, the Chiefs were fortunate it’s Aug. 11 at training camp and not Sept. 13 when the regular season begins against the Texans in Houston.
The Chiefs have some time before they will truly miss their starters, Jeremy Maclin and Albert Wilson. Maclin missed practice for the second straight day because of what the Chiefs are calling a neck strain. Wilson was ill.
But with Maclin and Wilson being new to the starting lineup and needing time with quarterback Alex Smith, the situation isn’t ideal.
"We’re at that time of camp where everybody is a little nicked up and banged up and of course we’ve got some illness and things," offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. "But you fight through that and these guys will get a couple of days to rest and heal and we’ll finish up training camp next week. Not to be alarmed.
"They’re getting a ton of work in practice and some great film studies in the afternoon with the quarterbacks and the receivers. So we’ve just got to keep building with those guys."
Other than Maclin and Jason Avant, the Chiefs are extremely young at wide receiver. The only other receiver they have with more than one year of experience is Junior Hemingway, who hasn’t practiced in several days because of an injured hip and is in danger of not making the roster.
It’s a collection of players trying to establish themselves in the NFL. Hammond and Williams are no different. Hammond joined the Chiefs in 2013 and spent most of that season on the practice squad. He got some playing time last year but wasn’t productive with it. He started three games but caught only four passes.
Williams was all on the Chiefs’ practice squad last season. He previously played two seasons of Arena League football.
Each player has something to work with -- Hammond in particular. He’s fast and catches the ball well.
But for now, at least, they aren’t Maclin and Wilson. That makes it a problem for the Chiefs.