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Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins may be X factor against Patriots

Posted: 9:21 AM, Jan 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-15 10:21:23-05
Sammy Watkins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs' offense is explosive. But who thought Sammy Watkins' returns to the offensive lineup would make the Chiefs much better on that side of the ball?

Watkins returned to the field Saturday after being sidelined for six weeks with a foot injury.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was thankful to have his services in the team's 31-13 rout of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC divisional round playoff game.

"I think he's doing okay. He felt good after the game. He felt pretty good yesterday. So, I mean, he's sore just from playing. But the foot feels good," Reid said. "He's a very good football player, first of all. He's physical and strong and tough to say, 'Okay, we are going to go man-to-man on this guy,' and do it consistently. He's got a good quickness, size and strength. And he can catch."

In his first game back with the team, Watkins was targeted eight times with six catches for 62 yards.

"I'm just thankful to the organization, the trainers, my coaches for the six weeks to get me prepared to play this game. And all week, just getting me mentally prepared," Watkins said. "The hat goes off to those guys and myself. And just being on the field was great, just giving those guys the energy. We're all feeding off of each other. It was a blessing."

In the AFC Championship game Sunday, the New England Patriots will certainly try to limit what Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is able to do on the field. The mastermind behind the Patriots' scheme and game plan is head coach Bill Belichick, whose goal is always to try to take away a team's best options. For the Chiefs, that would be wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. If that's the case, Watkins will certainly play a larger role and possibly be the X factor for the Chiefs offense.

His teammates have confidence in Watkins.

"It means a lot [to have him back]. He's an explosive guy. He brings a different type of energy," Chiefs running back Damien Williams said. "You know, all our receivers are great. They all have different types of energies. But Sammy, you know, he's been out for a minute. He let that be known that he was coming out here trying to make plays."

Kelce was also excited to have Watkins return to the lineup after being gone for nearly the last quarter of the season.

"It's huge. What he does to a defense just with him being out there on the field, it's another accountability that they have to account for," Kelce said. "At the same time, it helps everyone around him. And it helps him because we're already rolling as an offense with or without him. So, I mean, for him to come in, it's huge. And his presence was definitely felt, without a doubt."

Watkins said he knows that it will take time for him to get back to his true form and be 100 percent.

"[I started] a little slow. But things picked up as I got in the groove, started blocking and I started making plays," Watkins said.