The Kansas City Chiefs have left LeSean McCoy inactive for the game against the Tennessee Titans and the rumors are mixed on reasons why.
Typically a team’s inactives before a game largely come down to either availability or talent. In short, the handful of players who are on the active roster but left inactive before a game are generally injured or limited in some way or else they’re just as ready or talented as the players who are active.
That’s not the case for the Kansas City Chiefs list of inactives as they prepare to play the Tennessee Titans on Sunday for their Week 10 matchup in Nashville.
LeSean McCoy was left on the team’s inactive list and after receiving the majority of touches at the position during the first half of the season, it came as a shock to most who read the news. Immediately, questions were raised as to whether this was an internal discipline issue of some sort or whether the team was failing to disclose some sort of injury.
It turns out the reasons given, at least to reports like NFL Network’s James Palmer and The Athletic’s Nate Taylor, were a mixture of both physical needs and concerns as well as hopeful motivation.
“I’m told this was a predetermined rest week for LeSean McCoy,” explained Palmer before the game. “They want his legs fresh for the stretch run down the remainder of the season, so they’re giving him this game off.”
This could make some sense given that the Titans are seen as one of the lesser teams on the remaining schedule. The Chiefs still have four games left against division rivals as well as a second half showdown against the New England Patriots. If Shady wanted some time to rest (alongside the coming bye in Week 12), then the Titans game is a good place for it.
At the same time, the bye is coming and it’s hard to imagine that a player like McCoy is not hungry to compete. Here’s where Taylor’s commentary fills in the blanks a bit more.
LeSean McCoy, a healthy scratch today, spent time during pregame doing drills with assistant Deland McCullough. Yes, the Chiefs want to rest McCoy for the stretch run. But as I told @SorenPetro, Andy Reid also wants to motivate McCoy, who has fumbled twice this season.
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) November 10, 2019
It sounds as if the rest part is very real and that McCoy is being saved for the stretch run. At the same time, Reid responded even last week to McCoy’s recent fumble against the Green Bay Packers in Week 8. In that game, a late turnover cost the Chiefs a real chance to win. Last Sunday, the Chiefs barely played McCoy and gave Damien Williams the lead back role. Now McCoy is absent entirely.
Read into that what you will, but it sounds as if the truth is a mixture of all this: a hope to make McCoy take ball security as seriously as possible while also giving him a chance to sit against a team that should be an easier win than others.