Let’s be clear from the outset: the primary concern for the Kansas City Chiefs at this point is the injuries to Patrick Mahomes. From a potential concussion to the toe injury that occurred in the first quarter, the Chiefs quarterback is the biggest worry for the team—without question.
From there, however, the Chiefs also have myriad other injuries to deal with—a perhaps surprising problem for a team fresh off of two to three full weeks of rest.
On Sunday, the Chiefs returned to action after enjoying the only bye week given out in the AFC this year, thanks to earning the No. 1 seed with a 14-2 record. The Chiefs can also thank recent NFL rule changes which added a playoff team and removed the other available bye from the second seeded teams in each conference. That meant that the Chiefs and only the Chiefs enjoyed some rest after the rigors of a 16-game schedule in the AFC.
That bye week came on the heels of another semi-bye when head coach Andy Reid decided to rest his starters against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chiefs had already locked up the top seed in the conference, which meant that there was no need to risk the health of his best players. It was also a good chance to allow younger players to earn real game reps to strengthen the overall depth of the team.
What that meant was that the Chiefs were enjoying a rare rest stop in the middle of a long, arduous journey known as the NFL schedule. In many years, the ultimate winner—or at least for several competitors—it’s simply about avoiding injuries and winning a war of attrition. This gave the Chiefs a serious edge—or at least it was expected to do so.
Instead, the Chiefs are now less than one week away from hosting the AFC Championship with a laundry list of health questions to answer—including one involved the player they can least afford to lose.
Let’s run down the list of questions facing the Chiefs over the next seven days.