KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fourth and fifth wide receivers are often called upon to contribute on special teams.
And Chiefs rookie wide receiver Albert Wilson has made the most of those opportunities with noteworthy plays in two straight weeks.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment to come,” Wilson said after Week 11’s game. “I’ve been waiting to get on the field, and any type of way they put me on the field, I’m going to do my best. I’m going to put 100 percent effort into it.”
That determination showed in Week 10 when Wilson and fullback Anthony Sherman combined to force a fumble, which Sherman recovered, on Buffalo Bills cornerback/punt returner Leodis McKelvin.
The undrafted free agent out of Georgia State also came up big in Week 11 against the Seattle Seahawks to help down a Dustin Colquitt punt inside the 5-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
Wide receiver Junior Hemingway first prevented the ball from going into the end zone, which Wilson then batted back for linebacker Josh Martin to down at the 4-yard line.
“On special teams, it’s an effort play,” Wilson said. “So you give your all and things happen like that for you when you go 100 percent, be coachable and do what your coaches tell you to do, the play will present itself.”
The 5-9, 200-pound Wilson has appeared in six games with four inactives through 10 games.
While his two receptions for 24 yards on two targets on the season won’t blow anyone away, his willingness to work hard in other areas to contribute should keep him on the field.
Wilson recorded two special teams tackles and a forced fumble against the Seahawks. He has three special teams tackles on the season.
His overall play impresses Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who pointed out during Monday’s media conference call he noticed Wilson’s potential throughout the summer.
“We saw this during training camp,” Reid said. “Albert’s a good football player, and he shows that as a wide receiver and he’s been able to get in there on special teams and he’s shown the same thing. He’s got good instincts and he’s got good athletic ability, and that’s normally a pretty good combination of things, especially for special teams.”
SHORT PREP WEEK
The Chiefs (7-3) don’t have time to soak in Week 11’s big win against the Seattle Seahawks ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders (0-10).
Kansas City will practice Monday and Tuesday before boarding a plane Wednesday to travel to Oakland.
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said during Monday’s media conference call it is up to individual coaches and players to ensure they’re ready.
But the preparation routine doesn’t alter too much even with the lost days.
“As coaches we have to spend the time the couple days getting ourselves prepared so we can get our players prepared for a short week like this,” Pederson said. “You still go through the same type of routine; it’s just obviously a little quicker schedule and a faster turnaround. You just don’t have all the time to spend looking at the film and tape of your opponent. But yet at the same time it goes back to my comment earlier, each player and each coach has to spend the time and detail their work that way and get themselves ready to go on Thursday.”
The Chiefs coaching staff got a head start last week, as some members started working on the Oakland game before Week 11.
“(Spread game analyst/special projects coach) Brad (Childress) helped us quite a little bit in the passing game part of that, putting that together,” Reid said. “And then (offensive line coach Andy) Heck and (assistant offensive line coach) Eugene (Chung) were able to look at some stuff for the run game. Defensively, the guys took a peak at it also.”
For his part, Reid didn’t travel far after Sunday’s game.
“I was able to get back over here after the game and sit down and knock out some things,” Reid said.
Running back Cyrus Gray, whom the Chiefs placed on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 11, underwent surgery Monday to repair his torn ACL.
While the Chiefs didn’t offer an update on Gray’s status during Monday’s media conference call, sometimes it is best to get the news directly from the source.
In this case, Gray’s Twitter feed:
Surgery went well! Thank you guys for the prayers and the support, also I want to thank Dr.Andrews and his staff! I’m playing Thursday lol!
— Cyrus Gray (@CyrusGray32) November 17, 2014