After missing the first five games of the season recovering from a preseason thumb injury, Kansas City Chiefs WR Jonathan Baldwin, their first-round pick out of PIttsburgh, made his NFL debut against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. While he was understandably rusty, he was excited to be back on the field again:
"It really felt good to get out there," Baldwin said. "I’ve been practicing for a few weeks, but to finally get out there was great. Being out there with my teammates competing and sharing in this win felt good. It always felt real, but finally getting into the real action was a great thing."
Baldwin, playing primarily out of the slot, caught one pass for 15 yards and was targeted by Matt Cassel five times on Sunday. Like most rookies, he was active on special teams, replacing Jeremy Horne on the punt-return team.
A 6'4 228 WR, he was drafted to take some of the pressure off Dwayne Bowe on the outside as well as give Cassel an additional weapon in the passing game.
Rookie wide-outs have one of the toughest transitions to make coming out of college, but the Chiefs can use any help they can to improve their anemic passing game. Kansas City averages only 173.7 passing yards a game, 30th in the NFL, and they've gotten almost no production this season from any of the WR's behind Bowe and Steve Breaston.