The Kansas City Chiefs will get 15 games out of veteran wide receiver Dwayne Bowe at the very most in 2014. Per reports, the star receiver will serve a one game suspension to start the 2014 NFL season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Bowe’s suspension comes after testing positive for marijuana back in November of last year. At the time, Bowe reportedly admitted to the offense and paid a fine, but NFL commissioner decided to also hand down a one-game suspension.
Bowe will be unavailable for the team when they take on the Tennessee Titans in week one, further enhancing an already large load on the team’s best offensive player – Jamaal Charles. Already slated for a big role as one of the offense’s few elite weapons, Charles will almost certainly run the ball even more to start the year, and should also see a few extra targets his way in the passing game.
As for Bowe’s actual positional replacement, Donnie Avery will likely step up into the number one wide receiver spot, while Junior Hemingway and possibly A.J. Jenkins will round out the top three receiver spots. With Bowe out, the team is also expected to enhance the role of pass-catching tight end, Travis Kelce.
While Bowe is a steady and reliable weapon on the outside at wide receiver, he had disappointed in recent years. It’s arguably far from all his fault, but the 29-year old has put up lackluster stats in each of the past two seasons after putting up big numbers in 2010 and 2011.
Bowe suffered through a very difficult 2012 season that saw the Chiefs post the league’s worst record. Bowe managed just 59 receptions for 801 yards and three scores that year, as he endured the play of bottom level quarterbacks.
The quarterback position was upgraded last year with the acquisition of former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, but Smith and Bowe really never developed a rapport. Bowe put up his second straight disappointing campaign with just 57 catches and 673 yards, although he was able to score five touchdowns.
The jury is still out as to whether or not Bowe can get back to playing at a high level and get on the same page with Smith. While it certainly remains to be determined, we won’t be able to find out until week two at the earliest.