Even as the Kansas City Chiefs were making a push to win the AFC West, they were doing it largely without the help of Jeremy Maclin. Maclin, the team's No. 1 option since being signed to a big free-agent deal several years before, wasn't producing big numbers down the stretch.
And it probably, a shocking late-season free-agency move from the Chiefs to clear up salary cap space. As it turns out, Maclin may have been struggling because of a pretty serious injury: he was dealing with a torn groin.
Appearing on the Adam Schefter's "Know Them From Adam" ESPN podcast, Maclin revealed that he played much of last season with a torn groin, which probably affected his play a little bit.
Asked about people questioning his speed, Maclin revealed for the first time he had a pretty serious groin injury.
"Well, I tore my groin last year. So if I was supposed to be just as fast with a torn groin, then more power to them," Maclin said. "I don't really have much else to say about that."
Maclin said that he missed "about four weeks" and when he returned he wasn't "100 percent."
"I missed about four weeks there with a torn groin and I came back and I was able to play but I can't sit up here and say I was 100 percent," Maclin said. "But I'm also not going to sit up here and make excuses. At the end of the day I didn't play as well as I could have last year, I think that's ultimately what happened."
The statistics back it up too. Maclin was actually playing pretty well through the first seven games of the season, producing 30 catches for 376 yards (on pace for 69 catches and more than 850 yards on the year) through the first seven games of the season.
He headed into the Chiefs Week 9 game against Jacksonville on the injury report for a groin injury but started anyway before leaving early with just a single target and no catches. He would miss the next four weeks before returning in Week 14 against the Raiders but clearly he wasn't the same.
Maclin would total just 14 catches and 160 catches the rest of the way. The Chiefs offense had already started to tilt toward Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill but certainly Maclin's injury exacerbated things.
"You could feel it, but at the end of the day, like I said, you've got to play better," Maclin said. "I'm not that type of guy to lean my hat on it."
Maclin also revealed on Schefter's podcast that he did not need surgery and that he is 100 percent headed into 2017. The wide receiver, now on his third team, Mike Wallace and former first-round pick Breshad Perriman, who has yet to develop into the weapon the Ravens hope they drafted. He for the Ravens passing game., helping to bolster a receiving corps that was primarily highlighted by the speedy but elderly
Getting a healthy Maclin, who at times has looked like a true No. 1 wideout, would be a huge boost for Joe Flacco. It's worth watching how Maclin looks in training camp and the preseason; a torn groin just sounds like the type of injury that isn't cured quickly and could come back around.
But if he is indeed healthy the Ravens may have a bargain on their hands.