The Kansas City Chiefs are just about at the halfway point for their offseason workouts with their first mandatory mini-camp on the schedule for next weekend. Bob Gretz has taken a look at the team’s progress to this point at every position, including the wide open competition at tight end thanks to injuries to Brad Cottam and rookie Tony Moeaki.
It’s unlikely Cottam will be given the go ahead to practice until training camp, if then. H[is] neck fracture is nothing to fool with; he’s confident that he’ll play football again, but this decision will be up to specialists. Moeaki’s problem is a bit more mysterious, since it does not involve an injury, or at least that’s what he says. But Moeaki said he expects to be practicing soon.
That’s left the tight end field open to Leonard Pope, Jake O’Connell and the find of the year so far, waiver-claim Leroy Banks. Pope is a known commodity, a blocker more than a catcher. O’Connell continues to be very inconsistent with his hands. Released by the Falcons, Banks was added before the start of OTAs and has been impressive in his athletic ability and his pass catching. At 6-3, 243 pounds he’s a tweener, but if keeps showing off the ability to get separation and catches the ball, there’s going to be a place for him on this roster.
When the Chiefs first picked up Banks, I noted that he would get more than enough chances to show he deserves to be part of the final 53 and early on that’s exactly what he’s done. Todd Haley is the first person to point out that things will change a lot once the players put pads on, but he has to be happy what the team has seen in Banks so far.
Gretz puts it best… you don’t fool around when it comes to any sort of neck, spinal or head injury. It’s the type of thing that goes well past ending your career and could start to impact your quality of life off the field. Cottam should take as much time as the specialists tell him to and then another week just for good measure.
Again, this could end up turning into the perfect storm for Banks. He might not have the prototypical size for a tight end, but as we’ve talked about there should be enough offensive weapons that they can get away with a smaller tight end.