While there is still a final regular season game left on the schedule, most of the Kansas City Chiefs’ attention is focused on the playoffs. The AFC’s number one seed is secured. Meanwhile, getting healthier and making sure everyone is rested up for another Super Bowl shot is of upmost importance. It will be nice to see some younger players or depth guys show what they got when the Los Angeles Chargers come to Arrowhead Stadium.
However, today we will be focusing more on the latest headlines surrounding the Chiefs. What is happening at 1 Arrowhead Drive? From resting guys to certain injury updates, here are the top stories from Kansas City. Let’s get it started.
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Some Starters Will Rest
It came as little surprise. To open the week on Monday, head coach Andy Reid did indeed say that some starters will rest against the Chargers. Now, it is not clear yet which players will either rest or play. Here is what Coach Reid had to say in his Monday conference.
“I’ve been down this road a couple of times before and had opportunities to rest guys. So we’ll do that, we’ll rest up some guys. I’m sitting right here kind of waiting on the guys to come in and get their treatment and talk to Rick (head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder),” Reid said. “We’ll see exactly where we stand with any injuries and that, but there are certain guys that will have an opportunity to rest up. Everybody will be ready to go as long as their physically ready to go. But, we’ll make that decision down the road. But yeah, I’ve done that in the past. I’ve rested players, yes.”
If quarterback Patrick Mahomes is one who rests, it will indeed be veteran Chad Henne receiving the start at QB. The Michigan product has appeared in relief of blowout wins over the last couple of years. Though if he starts, it will be Henne’s first start since he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014. Here is what Reid had to say about the 13 year veteran signal caller.
“He’s been great. I mean he understands the role, which is like the number one thing, right? You got to have to understand the role and then like any relief pitcher, you have to be ready at all times. Then, there’s a certain amount of discipline that goes with being ready for these game plans when you’re not repping them. You got to stay mentally sharp with it. He’s been great for Patrick, for somebody that he can bounce things off of that’s in the moment right now. And it leads to a great room. I mean, you’ve got Matt Moore in there also, so all of a sudden you’ve got two veteran guys around him that have been there, done it, and are two top notch guys on top of all that.”
Watkins Injury Update
Wide receiver Sammy Watkins left the Chiefs victory early on Sunday. It was reported that he suffered a calf injury. This was concerning at first glance for both Kansas City and the player himself, as Watkins had injured his calf earlier this season.
Thankfully, the early reports are that Watkins avoided a “major injury” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Rapaport tweeted out on Monday, “he’ll likely rest next week (Week 17), then have the bye. Good chance he’s back by that point.”
Injuries have been an unfortunate constant theme in Watkins’ career. He already has been limited to ten games in 2020. So far, he has produced 37 receptions, 421 receiving yards and two touchdowns. That is his lowest yardage output in three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. The injuries and slender results were a big reason as to why he was asked to restructure his contract for 2020.
If there is a bright spot, Watkins has been extremely more productive in playoff games with the Chiefs. He has accumulated 24 receptions for 464 receiving yards with a touchdown and 19.3 yards per reception. If those five playoff performances told us anything, Sammy is most reliable in those big game situations. After the season, the veteran receiver is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.
AFC Playoff Picture Update
While the Chiefs know their seed, everything else is a lot more fluid in the AFC. The Buffalo Bills currently hold the two seed, and hold a head to head tiebreaker over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Furthermore, Pittsburgh is reportedly going to sit starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Week 17. Even though the Steelers could still move up from the three seed to the two, they feel more content about looking ahead to the postseason. Both Buffalo and Pittsburgh face teams fighting for wild card spots in the AFC.
That would be the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns. Someone between the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts will win the AFC South. That leaves four teams fighting for the three wild card spots. That will be fought for between Miami, Cleveland, the Baltimore Ravens and the team who does not win the AFC South (Tennessee or Indianapolis). Unbelievably, we will see a team in the conference miss the postseason with a record of either 11-5 or 10-6. Despite an extra playoff spot this season, a team with a very good resume will be sitting on the outside looking in, being forced to move forward to 2021.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs articles throughout the week. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.