KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The Chiefs will know in a matter of weeks whether their acquisition of wide receiver Chris Chambers fits into a category with the signing of Bobby Wade or one with Amani Toomer and Ashley Lelie.
They just know for now they're desperate to improve an ailing passing game. They're willing to try anything to get them there, even if it means taking on a wide receiver that was found lacking by another team, which was San Diego in Chambers' case.
"He came available and in our quest to improve our team (through) every avenue, we felt he could potentially help us," Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. "We have experience playing against him and preparing for him, so we had a bunch of different opinions on him and felt good about getting him in here."
Haley indicated Chambers may play in Sunday's game against the Jaguars in Jacksonville. While it seems unlikely Chambers would push either Wade or Dwayne Bowe from a starting spot on Sunday, Wade played extensively in his first game only a few days after signing with the Chiefs.
"We're trying to get him ready," Haley said after Wednesday's practice. "He took some (snaps) today and made a couple of plays."
Chambers is the fifth wide receiver to join the Chiefs since the start of training camp. Wade, second among the Chiefs with 20 catches and two touchdowns, has helped.
Toomer and Lelie, who were cut before the start of the season, didn't. It's too early to tell about Lance Long, who has played in only one game since being promoted from the practice squad.
Their continuing efforts to upgrade at wide receiver speak to the Chiefs' offseason inadequacy of stocking the position.
"I don't know there was a lot to stock it with over the offseason," Haley said. "It was an area we felt had to improve way back when Scott (Pioli) and I got here. There's no doubt about that."
It will be forgotten if Chambers, 31, plays well. A second-round pick by Miami in 2001, Chambers caught more than 50 passes in five seasons and made the Pro Bowl in 2005 after catching 82 balls and scoring 11 touchdowns.
Chambers hasn't been out of the 30s in catches in each of the last five years. The Chargers thought his skills had slipped to the point where they first took playing time and his starting spot away, then placed him on waivers this week.
Chambers has nine receptions and a touchdown this season.
"I wasn't getting the (snaps) I was hoping to get," Chambers said. "My approach hasn't changed. It's good to come to a team where you're wanted.
"I had a really good training camp. There were some opportunities I wish I had back that I didn't capitalize on. A lot of that stuff was miscues... there were a lot of balls thrown over my head or underthrown and they just weren't catchable. I might have three or four touchdowns by now and we might not be talking about this.
"They went with some younger guys to build for the future and gave me an opportunity to play (for the Chiefs) and do something this season."
Chambers dropped two passes and caught none in a recent game against the Chiefs.
"He'll be a good addition to the ballclub," Chiefs cornerback Brandon Carr said. "From what I've seen, he's still got the quicks out there. He can run, but the thing he really does well is position his body to where he keeps you away from the ball and he's the only one that can catch the ball. He's not the big receiver, but that doesn't matter because he knows his strength and takes advantage of it."
Haley didn't specify how much Chambers would eventually play but left no doubt he would be given the chance to earn time.
"His speed is pretty good, maybe better than you're giving him credit for," Haley said. "He was a vertical threat for San Diego. He does give us some speed and vertical explosion. He adds a little to the mix.
"He's been able to stay relatively healthy, and you haven't seen a drop-off in speed. I've kind of been taught over the years that if somebody thought enough of someone to (draft) him (in an early round), it's worth giving him a second or potentially a third chance."