Kansas City Chiefs fans have spent years giving injury prone tight end Tony Moeaki the benefit of the doubt. Despite having a history of injuries, Moeaki has a lot of potential. He showed it off in 2010 when he was just a rookie.
But his rookie season might be the best he will ever have in his career.
This past Monday, Andy Reid revealed Moeaki suffered a shoulder fracture and did not give a timetable on his return.
In Moeaki’s first three years, he missed 18 games and could miss a lot of games going into his fourth year. Even though injuries have been a big part of Moeaki’s career, Reid is trying to shed some light and remain optimistic about the matter in front of the media.
“He has had a couple of injuries,” Reid said during Monday’s press conference. “But in a lot of cases with different players, sometimes you can change that around in your career. Hopefully this is his last one, and he’ll be able to keep going.”
But can Moeaki keep going? At this degree, it is hard to see him topping his best season of 47 catches for 556 yards and three touchdowns in 2010.
Moeaki came through in his NFL debut when he helped the Chiefs take the lead on Monday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers, which helped them pull out a stunning win at home. Two weeks later, Moeaki’s one-handed grab against San Francisco made him a household name in Kansas City.
But the highlight reel ended there for Moeaki.
Injuries have perceptibly derailed his career. The Chiefs signed Kevin Boss last year, hoping he could help split time with Moeaki. But Boss suffered an early season-ending injury of his own.
Now, Kansas City recruited veteran Anthony Fasano and rookie Travis Kelce. The duo gives Reid an insurance policy at tight end. With Moeaki’s injury habits reoccurring, the move to add both is paying off.
But for Moeaki, this is bad news and another moment that could spell the end of his time in Kansas City. After the 2013 season, Moeaki will be an unrestricted free agent. If the Chiefs decide to put him on injured reserve, then it is likely that he may have played his last game as a Chief.
While there is budding talent for Moeaki, making consistent trips to the training room will keep him away from reaching the top. The Chiefs have been more than patient with him over the years as well.
The team can’t wait any longer and must make the difficult decision to let him go after the 2013 season and move on with another player who can stay healthy and give the team consistency at tight end.