Of all the injured players making their return today, Tony Moeaki is the one that needs to quickly get in there and make a difference.
The Kansas City Chiefs spent a third round pick on Moeaki so clearly they feel he has something to offer.
Moeaki was the most athletic pass-catching tight end on the roster during training camp. He was a step ahead of everyone, including Leonard Pope, during training camp when it came to hitting the open field and making a catch. On a team void of playmakers (can I say that anymore with Charles and McCluster?), the importance of Moeaki is magnified.
I'm not saying he's going to light the world on fire. Or that he needs to. But he does need to offer something more than Leonard Pope in the passing game.
Pope is currently on the first team. The Chiefs love Pope and they're not likely to give up his starting job anytime soon but I do think Moeaki will be featured in the offense more and more as we roll along the preseason here.
Moeaki was believed to be challenging him for the starting job before his injury.
He's no Tony Gonzalez -- who is? -- but he can stretch the field like none of the other Chiefs tight ends can. Sure guys like Jake O'Connell and Leroy Banks have showed flashes but none as consistent as Moeaki.
The Chiefs also love tight ends. Go back and look over the roster since Scott Pioli and Todd Haley came on board. The number of tight ends is ridiculous. Moeaki is the one in which they have the most invested. They need him to work out.
It won't be easy to overtake Pope by any means. It may take two games, six games or maybe even a year until Moeaki claims the role but he is the future at that position and it'll be interesting to watch the growth of his career starting...now.