ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – It’s easy to forget about Isaiah McKenzie’s strong start to his rookie season.
McKenzie was a training camp darling, showing off shiftiness and sparking cautious whispers that he could be a potential answer to Tyreek Hill. In the first preseason game of 2017, the sixth-round pick caught a 47-yard, fourth-quarter bomb from Kyle Sloter to tie the game at 17. Through three regular season games, McKenzie averaged 14 yards per return over six tries, a number that would have ranked second in the NFL, had he been able to hold the pace.
“The first four weeks, he was tremendous,” Vance Joseph said last week.
But things fell apart from there. After Week 3, McKenzie touched the ball 26 more times; three kick returns, four receptions, four punts fair caught, and 15 punts returned. Of those 26 touches, the ball slipped out of McKenzie’s hands six times.