The Kansas City Chiefs got a major boost with the confirmation of the services of wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling for the upcoming Super Bowl 58 showdown with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Valdes-Scantling has been a full practice participant all week despite some worries about his fitness coming off an oblique injury, so his availability for the marquee event tonight is assured.
It was a road full of work, resilience, and adaptability until Valdes-Scantling's Super Bowl. After battling through a series of drops early in the season that, it appeared, negatively impacted his rapport with star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, he has, impressively, turned his season around.
Watkins played a big reason with his pivotal performances in key games, like those against the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens in the Chiefs' run to the Super Bowl. Coach Andy Reid reflected on his performance, marveling at his mental toughness and understanding of the offense.
He said he kept working, despite early challenges.
Chiefs' Injury Concerns
Though the Chiefs certainly had plenty of their own in their path to the Super Bowl. The team's injury report lists several key players with varying degrees of availability concerns.
Thuney, offensive guard, and defensive end Charles Omenihu have been ruled out, while the chances of participation in the match by wide receiver Skyy Moore, running back Jerick McKinnon, and offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho stand questionable.
So the inclusion of Valdes-Scantling means a huge relief from the looming doubt. Valdes-Scantling's production was on display during the AFC championship game as he added two grabs for 38 yards, bringing his season total to 21 catches for 315 yards with one touchdown.
His ability to persist, notwithstanding all the struggle of early season, really stands a testament to that character and resolve, which the Chiefs are going to bank heavily on in their Super Bowl campaign. In fact, the Chiefs are 2-point underdogs in Super Bowl 58 to the 49ers.
That underdog status has provided some more motivation for the team, as echoed by Mahomes, who has felt it as inspirational for himself and team-mates. Accepting that role, the Chiefs are set to pour this energy into their performance in a game that will define their season.