Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney was a net negative in Thursday night's 21-20 loss to the Detroit Lions. On Friday morning, he made a move that might help him evade some of the criticism that came from his season-opening performance.
The 24-year-old deleted his account on X, formerly Twitter, Friday morning. He left his Instagram account active but the comments are restricted.
Toney's X handle went dark after he dropped three passes, one of which was intercepted and returned for a crucial Lions touchdown. It occurred with 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter as safety Brian Branch caught a pass that slipped right through Toney's hands. Branch took it home for a pick-six that tied the game at 14-14.
The third drop might have been the most excruciating. With 2:25 remaining in the game and the Chiefs down by one point, a deep pass made contact with Toney's hands that would have put the team in field-goal range.
He ended the night with just one reception for 1 yard and five targets. His sole carry resulted in a loss of one yard.
Walking off the field with more drops than touches is bound to garner disparagement, and it came to Toney in droves. Here are some of those posts:
WTF is Toney doing 2nite? He’s been awful.
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) September 8, 2023
AND NEXT UP ON TROMBONE ITS KADARIUS TONEY pic.twitter.com/KlgR2M48Q9
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) September 8, 2023
Kadarius Toney at the Chief's facility tomorrow pic.twitter.com/Th9cqhnxNj
— ItsASaintsThing (@ItsASaintsThing) September 8, 2023
Toney was traded to the Chiefs last season by the New York Giants after a tenure that was hampered by injuries. He recorded 41 receptions in a season and a half there. Last season, he notched a record-setting punt return that led to a touchdown in KC's Super Bowl win.
This offseason, Toney had knee surgery to repair a meniscus injury he sustained returning punts in practice. The procedure left him with just "a chance" to play in Week 1.
After the surgery, he talked some slight trash to Giants fans in a video posted on his Instagram story in July. He posted plenty of messages on X engaging with fans of his former team as well, but claimed he was hacked when profane voice notes that were sent from his account to a Giants fan surfaced.
On Thursday, that moment came back to bite:
Kadarius Toney gonna claim his hands were hacked
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) September 8, 2023
Despite all the trolling, quarterback Patrick Mahomes said he still has faith in Toney after the loss. He also reminded reporters the receiver missed time in training camp that could have made a difference.
"Obviously, he wanted to play and fought in rehab hard so he could play," Mahomes said. "Stuff is not always going to go your way, obviously, he would have wanted to catch a few of those in the game, but I have trust that he is going to be the guy that I go to in those crucial moments and he's going to make the catch and win us some games like he did last year and get him more and more reps. I'm sure that those drops will disappear."
Mahomes was candid about his embarrassment from Thursday night's outcome, so it seems safe to expect some adjustments before the Chiefs visit the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 17.