Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes Potentially Out for Chiefs-Chargers Clash

Chiefs Navigate Playoff Preparations Amid Rest and Rewards Dilemma.

by Nouman Rasool
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Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes Potentially Out for Chiefs-Chargers Clash
© Sarah Stier/Getty Images

In a strategic move ahead of the postseason, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is considering benching key players, including stars Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes, for their upcoming regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers.

This decision follows the Chiefs' recent triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals, securing their spot in the playoffs and their eighth consecutive AFC West title. With the Chiefs firmly positioned as the AFC's third seed, trailing the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens, the upcoming game against the Chargers holds minimal stakes for the team.

This scenario allows Reid to rest his primary starters, a tactic he has employed in past seasons under similar circumstances. In 2020, after clinching the No. 1 seed, Reid opted for backup players in a game against the Chargers, and back in 2017, he gave Mahomes his first start in place of then-first-choice quarterback Alex Smith.

While the decision is yet to be finalized, Reid acknowledged the need for careful consideration, stating, "I haven’t gotten there yet." Mahomes, the Chiefs' renowned quarterback, expressed his readiness to support his coach's choice.

He emphasized his willingness to maintain the team's momentum or rest well to prepare for the playoffs.

Jones' Crucial Decision

The outcome of Reid's decision carries strategic weight and significant financial implications, particularly for defensive tackle Chris Jones.

Jones is tantalizingly close to earning a substantial $1.25 million bonus, needing just half a sack to reach the required 10 sacks for the season. Despite this personal milestone within reach, Jones voiced his support for the coach's decision, acknowledging the benefits of rest for himself and the team, given the physical toll of the season.

This careful balancing act between maintaining momentum and ensuring player well-being exemplifies the challenges teams face as they gear up for the high-stakes environment of the NFL playoffs. The Chiefs' approach to their final regular-season game will be a testament to their long-term strategy aimed at a successful playoff run, where every decision can have far-reaching consequences on and off the field.

Travis Kelce Patrick Mahomes Chargers
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