Chiefs TE Tony Moeaki likely sidelined until training camp
Sean Keeler weighs in on the KC tight ends, injury news, the No. 3 QB race and more
By SEAN KEELERFS Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The
Tony Moeaki Express is back in the repair shop again.
Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Thursday that he doesn't expect Moeaki, his talented but injury-prone tight end, to take the field again until his squad opens training camp in late July.
"We'll see," Reid said after the team wrapped up another three-day session of Organized Team Activities (OTA). "We'll see.
"But right now, I'm thinking he will be (available). We'll see how it goes. He's working like crazy."
Moeaki has been present at April mini-camps and May OTAs, but has yet to practice at full speed with his teammates. The 6-foot-3 receiver underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason, and Reid said he doesn't foresee him taking part in spring sessions.
The fourth-year tight end out of Iowa caught 33 balls for 453 yards a year ago, but missed all of the 2011 regular season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Given Moeaki's recent history, it's no surprise the Chiefs have spent the past few months loading up on alternatives at the tight end position, including veteran Anthony Fasano, who was signed as a free agent in March, and former University of Cincinnati standout Travis Kelce, who was selected in the third round of last month's draft.
While Moeaki's on-field absence this spring has caused some hand-wringing among Chiefs fans, it has opened up considerable work for Kelce, who has lined up outside, inside — and even in the backfield.
"He's doing a nice job, yeah, athletically," Reid said of his rookie tight end. "I think that's one of the positions that has a whole lot of different looks that they've got to learn, and he's working through that. He's a smart kid. He's working through it."
Other bits and bites from the second full week of OTAs …
A day after being singled out for praise by quarterback Alex Smith, wideout/scatback Dexter McCluster tweaked his hamstring and was held out of action Thursday. Reid said it was mild, but indicated that he's in a wait-and-see mode for the four days of OTA work next week. More tweaks: Linebacker Mike Catapano (hamstring) and defensive back Neiko Thorpe (knee).
Team chairman/President Clark Hunt attended Thursday's OTA, which was again marked by multiple offensive formations; slot receivers working outside; more option plays with Smith under center; and another spirited performance by the defense — especially end Tyson Jackson, who appeared to reach up and bat away at least one Smith pass late into the proceedings.
The No. 3 quarterback race is still, for lack of a better word, fluid. Reid says the use of undrafted rookie free agent Tyler Bray for three times the amount of reps as the current No. 3, Ricky Stanzi, this week was intentional, and that the rotation will likely flip again, with Stanzi getting more reps. "So (we're) giving them equal opportunity there," Reid said. "But, yeah, we did give Tyler more reps to see him."
Reid continues to tinker with rookie tailback Knile Davis returning kicks, although that wasn't his forte at Arkansas. "That position, you want the guys who are willing to hit it up the field," the coach explained. "We'll see how he does. I'm not saying he's the guy, necessarily, right now. But he's working at it. We'll see how he does through training camp."
Want to work out to the music the Chiefs work out to? If you're interested in making your own digital playlist (or mix tape, for you old-schoolers) to mimic Reid's preferred "crowd noise" soundtrack, here's a sampling of what the staff cranked up during practice this week: "How Low" by Ludcaris; "Shake Ya Tailfeather" by Nelly, P. Diddy and Murphy Lee; "Go Shorty Go" by Travis Porter; "All The Way Turnt Up" by Roscoe Dash; and "Paper Cut" by Linkin Park.
You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.