KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs are suddenly looking for a kickoff returner. They have a good one they haven’t used in that role since last season. Could the Chiefs have Tyreek Hill return kickoffs for the first time this year in Saturday’s wild-card round playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium?
“Put Tyreek back there," special teams coordinator Dave Toub said when asked what the Chiefs would do to fill the void. They lost their top two kickoff returners, Akeem Hunt and De'Anthony Thomas, for the season with injuries suffered in last week’s game against the Denver Broncos.
“I don’t know. We’ll see. We have options."
The Chiefs took Hill off kickoff return duty this season to accommodate his busier schedule on offense. Hill was still Kansas City’s primary punt returner this season.
Hill averaged 27.4 yards with one touchdown in returning kickoffs as a rookie last year. Without Hill this year, the Chiefs are averaging 22.4 yards with a long of 42.
When asked what the Chiefs have missed without Hill, Toub said, “Maybe two touchdowns, probably."
The Chiefs can also choose from, among others, wide receivers Jehu Chesson and Demarcus Robinson and running back Charcandrick West to return kickoffs. None of them has proved himself to be a big-play threat in the way that Hill has.
“He wants to touch the ball all the time," Toub said. “It’s his DNA. It’s what he wants to do."