Rashee Rice Named City Chiefs ‘Biggest Roster Decision’ while awaiting suspension — But How So?

Rashee Rice’s status for the 2024 NFL season remains uncertain, but what steps can the Chiefs take now?

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice (4) carries the ball against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium.

Rice’s tumultuous offseason has been well-documented, and the Chiefs’ second-year wide receiver is widely expected to face suspension at the start of the 2024 NFL season due to his alleged involvement in a multi-vehicle crash in Dallas, Texas. If Rice is suspended for a significant portion of the season, how might the Chiefs adjust?

Gilberto Manzano of SI.com analyzed the “biggest roster decisions” for every AFC team, highlighting Rice’s potential suspension as a critical issue for the Chiefs.

Biggest decision: What will they do about a possible Rashee Rice suspension?

Rice was pivotal during his rookie season, helping the Chiefs secure another Super Bowl victory. However, he may not be available at the beginning of the 2024 season due to a possible suspension for his alleged role in a car accident last month (March 30). The Chiefs will need rookie wide receiver Xavier Worthy to step up immediately and for Marquise “Hollywood” Brown to quickly adapt to his new team if Rice is absent for an extended period.

This situation raises the question of what decisions the Chiefs can make now. Rice’s accident occurred almost a month before the 2024 NFL Draft but after major free agency moves. The Chiefs have already seen several wide receiver options, including Odell Beckham Jr., Zay Jones, and Tyler Boyd, sign with other teams after the draft, long after they would have had a clearer estimate of Rice’s suspension length.

It seems the Chiefs have already made their biggest decision: there won’t be major reinforcements unless they make a significant trade for an established wide receiver seeking a new home. Acquiring a player like Tee Higgins or DK Metcalf would be a long-term investment beyond Rice’s potential suspension window.

The Chiefs could still consider signing Michael Thomas, Hunter Renfrow, or Mecole Hardman, but none would directly replace Rice. These players would compete for a role regardless of Rice’s status. The opportunity for an immediate-impact wide receiver decision has passed. The Chiefs are likely to give larger roles to their current in-house options while Rice is sidelined, with the possibility of adding a role-player pass-catcher closer to training camp. Ultimately, the team is preparing to be without Rice for a portion of the year, and the official word from the NFL is unlikely to alter their plans significantly, barring a major surprise from the league office.