Don’t expect to see too much of Kansas City’s starters this week in San Diego. Andy Reid is indicating that he is planning on resting several players to varying degrees this weekend in preparation for the playoffs next weekend.
“I’m going to work some guys in,” Reid said. “Most of them have already worked in. … I talked to the team, and I will have it figured out by the end of the week exactly how I’m going to work it.”
So what should we expect for Sunday? For starters, don’t be surprised if Branden Albert, Justin Houston, and Tamba Hali are not even active for the game. Albert and Houston have been practicing all week, but what is the point of risking them in a meaningless game? Hali has been dealing with a swollen knee and hasn’t even seen the practice field this week. He falls under a similar category as Houston and Albert as having no real upside for playing.
Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, and Dwayne Bowe are interesting candidates to not see the field either. If KC were to lose any of those three before the playoffs then the Chiefs chances of winning a playoff game are cooked. It is probably likely that all three see some sort of time Sunday, maybe a possession or two, and then are benched for the rest of the game.
Charles is an even more interesting case this year as he is just one touchdown and 20 yards from scrimmage away from becoming the 10th player in NFL history to have 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns in a single season. To give you an idea of how crazy that is, Adrian Peterson has never had such a season. Getting Charles the touchdown and the yards may be a priority for the Chiefs.
Good news here is that we are going to see a lot of the younger players get some playing time. Knile Davis will get a lot of carries, and Junior Hemingway should see more time on the field, too. Both are key players towards trying to figure out the Chiefs’ roster depth situation heading into the offseason.
Mizzou fans will also get the added bonus of seeing Chase Daniel play his first meaningful NFL snaps of his career. Daniel has attempted only 17 passes in four seasons, so this will be everyone’s first real look at Daniel as an NFL quarterback. The banter between Mizzou and Kansas fans alone should make this game a must watch event.