Thrust headlong into the electric world of the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs have certainly seen their share of challenges and triumphs, none the least of which from the dynamic contributions of Jerick McKinnon. With his exceptional skills as a receiving specialist from the backfield, thus an asset for those critical third-down situations, his three-year tenure at the Chiefs was pretty characteristic.
Through the season's first 12 games, McKinnon has a nifty 25 receptions and a downright stellar five touchdowns — especially notable because his playing time has been relatively limited. However, Chiefs' road to Super Bowl 58 has been contrasting one, through the absence of McKinnon, who has been out injured for close to 2 months now, all through the 3 playoffs matches staged to date.
And just when the team is getting ready for the big one against the San Francisco 49ers, there's some hope that McKinnon might play.
McKinnon's Uncertain Return
People are wondering what the role is going to be for McKinnon, coming off the injured reserve list, all the way back to Week 12.
His status is up in the air, but his recovery from the groin injury could weigh into the decision – particularly how he responds to pregame routines. Add in the potential of McKinnon in that mix and the Chiefs become that much more potent, adding another layer to this offense as Patrick Mahomes tries to get his third championship ring in just six years.
However, an official announcement on McKinnon's Super Bowl status is anticipated only closer to the kickoff. McKinnon's last action on the pitch came during the game against the New England Patriots on December 17, where he pulled his groin and was later placed on injured reserve.
Although most players in McKinnon's shoes would have a season-ending injury, the Chiefs held out hope he could return should they advance in the playoffs. Their aspirations have not come to nought as the Chiefs have succeeded in paving way for themselves to the Super Bowl, and this might just leave another chance open for McKinnon.
He had a core muscle surgery on January 2nd, and reports say he is close to full recovery. Super Bowl is a game changer, a return on the field from injury is possible to see the likes of Antonio Brown return to his primary role as a receiving specialist and a key performer for their third down.
Isiah Pacheco is expected to continue as the featured back though Clyde Edwards-Helaire may see his role shrink in case McKinnon returns.