With two red zone touchdowns in the preseason, Jody Fortson seems to be what the Chiefs’ offense needed to get into the endzone consistently
The Chiefs have had an issue in the red zone for two years now, they struggle to get the ball into the endzone efficiently. Now that Tyreek Hill has been traded to the Sunshine State, debates have been going on about how someone can help fix this offense. Enter, Jody Fortson a wide receiver turned tight end who suffered a major Achilles injury last season against Washington. Fortson looked to be having an impact on the offense once it got down to the opponent’s twenty-yard line, but when he got injured it went away. Now that he’s fully healthy and had a career game against Washington in Week Two of the preseason, he might be able to be the fix in the red zone.
Jody Fortson was an undrafted player out of Valdosta State and joined the Chiefs practice squad in 2019. He wasn’t able to make the roster in either 2019 or 2020 mainly because of the depth at the wide receiver position. But in 2021, he transitioned to play tight end and had some meaningful plays until his injury against the then Washington Football Team. Now healthy, what does he bring to the first-team offense?
According to Chief’s quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, Jody is making a bigger impact than previously thought. “They actually played it really well. But I think what you’ve seen with Jody is when he’s one-on-one, and he has a guy behind him, you can kind of give him that chance, and I’ve kind of built that trust with him now, and I think you saw it two times today where he wasn’t necessarily open, but when you have a big guy who can catch the ball and make those physical, tough catches, you give him a chance, and he makes me look good.”
Having an elite quarterback who trusts you in difficult-catch situations is not a bad thing to have, and it should help solidify his spot on the depth chart. Expect Jody to be in a lot of different packages, especially when Kansas City is driving the ball towards the endzone. His huge 6-foot-6 frame and good, soft hands are going to make him a red zone nightmare for the defenses who have to also match up with the best tight end in the league, Travis Kelce. Mahomes even said Fortson might be best used in the red zone after Fortson played well against Washington.
“We were giving him more and more plays down there. And I think you see it even today, it’s just another weapon down there that we can use. I mean, we have so many options with all the screens and the plays to (Travis) Kelce and all the shovel passes. But when you have a guy that is one-on-one and can make a catch like (Jody Fortson) did today? That’s a DB in a good position, but when you have a guy that is that big that can high-point the ball on those catches it gives you another option that will open up other stuff for us.”
Given the height, strength, and position flexibility Fortson has been showing, he should tear up teams all year long. The Chiefs have had a lot of questions answered this preseason, and Jody has helped as he has become a favorite target on offense and as long as he can stay healthy, he is an amazing target to have. Plus, he’s in the right mindset already. “I want to be the best, the best I can be.” That is the right mindset to follow in Travis Kelce’s footsteps,” said Fortson after his performance against Washington.
Expect big things from Fortson and hopefully, he is the answer for the Cheifs’ previous red zone woes.