If you were hoping to see the K.C. Chiefs offensive line show what they can do against a solid pass rush, you’re going to have to wait for another opponent than the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night. That’s because Kliff Kingsbury’s team will be without their two best pass rushers (and maybe more) as they host the Chiefs at State Farm Stadium.
The Cardinals have been without their newest signing J.J. Watt, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, for a bit already and the Cards’ head coach has said he doesn’t plan on urging Watt back until he’s needed in the regular season.
On Tuesday, news broke that pass rushing linebacker Chandler Jones would also sit out the game after suffering an unknown injury in practice. Kingsbury did refer to it as “nothing serious,” but holding out Jones is in the team’s best interest at this point.
The Chiefs offensive tackles will miss out on a good challenge in Arizona.
In addition to the loss of those two pillars, Kingsbury is also uncertain whether or not linebacker Markus Golden will be able to play, calling him a game-time decision.
NFL preseason games are never intended to serve as some ultimate competitive test for a team’s starting players. Instead, they are ways to shake off the rust with some real reps against an opposing team while younger prospects and backups try to impress coaches enough to keep their jobs into the regular season.
Still, it would have been nice to see how Orlando Brown, Jr. and Lucas Niang held up with the likes of Watt and Jones outside trying to get to Patrick Mahomes or Chad Henne. While it wouldn’t have been a big sample size, it would have given the Chiefs’ new bookends a look at two of the league’s best pass rushers—good preparation for the stout defensive fronts they will face to start the regular season.