The Kansas City Chiefs were gifted a first-round bye from the Miami Dolphins. Who stands to benefit most on the team?
“Hail to the Dolphins!”
Andy Reid spoke for all Kansas City Chiefs fans at his press conference on Sunday after the Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots to lock up the AFC’s No. 2 seed for the Chiefs. With the two seed comes some presents: a home game in the divisional round and a bye week.
There is a ton of debate about whether or not the bye week really helps a team that much, with many people talking about “momentum” but the numbers do not lie. Teams with a bye week go to the Super Bowl almost 80% of the time, using those 14 days to not only put together a solid game plan but to also rest and get players off the injury report.
For the Chiefs, those extra 7 days look awfully nice, with many players dealing with nagging injuries and/or illnesses. Who specifically would the bye week help the most? Who would be able to capitalize most on an extra 7 days of rest? Let’s take a look.
Juan Thornhill barely made the list yet he also should have been higher. The reason? It may not matter.
Thornhill’s knee injury came in K.C.’s Week 17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. The rookie safety initially went down with a non-contact injury that looked serious on the field. He needed help moving off the field and the Chiefs quickly downgraded him from “questionable to return” to “out” for the game.
Despite everything, head coach Andy Reid seemed oddly optimistic during his post game press conference, Not willing to call Thornhill’s season over. It almost felt as if Andy Reid knew something that nobody else did.
If, by another Christmas miracle, Juan Thornhill only suffered a minor injury and the team just played it extremely safe with him, this bye week is going to be a huge blessing. Getting Juan Thornhill back to 100% and helping maintain the best safety duo in the league will help the Chiefs continue defensive success in the playoffs.
But if Juan Thornhill does have a serious injury and can not play through the playoffs, then this week will help another player for a completely different reason.