The NFL made its long awaited return on Thursday night, but Chiefs right tackle Jawaan Taylor’s performance turned some heads.
Over the course of the Chiefs game against the Detroit Lions, Taylor seemed to line up too far into the backfield, but the referees apparently did not notice, because they did not throw flags for false-start penalties for the majority of the game.
However, late in the game officials penalized Taylor for a false start during a critical drive for the Chiefs. The penalty call prompted former Bengals wide receiver and broadcaster Cris Collinsworth to point out how Taylor had committed penalties throughout the night.
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“You see Jawaan Taylor playing slot receiver finally got busted,” Collinsworth said as he poked fun at the Chiefs offensive lineman.
Taylor appeared to consistently shift his right leg before the football was snapped, but he largely avoided false-start penalties.
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NBC’s Terry McAulay later offered an explanation of what was happening on the field.
“To be on the line, his helmet has to break the waistline of the center,” McAulay explained during the broadcast.
“And to be honest, we’ve watched [Taylor] the whole game. He’s really not remotely close, and it’s really putting the defensive end at a tremendous disadvantage when he can be that far back.”
Taylor spent the first four years of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He signed a four-year contract with the Chiefs earlier this year.
JJ Watt took to social media to weigh in on Taylor’s pre-snap movement.
“Watch closely, many offensive tackles jump the snap count and leave just before the ball is actually snapped. It’s a little thing, but makes a huge difference. Refs generally let it slide. As long as they don’t call it, I’d keep doing it too if I was them.” Watt wrote on X, the company formerly known as Twitter.
The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs had somewhat of a disappointing showing in their 2023 debut. Kansas City suffered a 21-20 loss to the Lions, as star tight end Travis Kelce watched from sidelines as he recovered from an injury.
Patrick Mahomes relied on some of the young pass catchers on the Chiefs roster, which yielded mixed results.
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The Chiefs travel to Jacksonville for Week 2, while the Lions head home to host the Seahawks on Sept. 17.