Of all the changes we’d love to see made, elevating Juan Thornhill to a starting role is the most obvious. In Week 1, Thornhill was given starter’s reps, but in the two games since then, no defender who’s played in both games has played less reps than Thornhill.
What’s clear at this point is that Thornhill is in the doghouse for reasons unbeknownst to fans outside of Arrowhead Stadium. Perhaps this is a trust issue in terms of the scheme. Maybe it’s a teaching moment for the coaching staff (a la Todd Haley and Derrick Johnson). It’s possible Thornhill is a double agent for the Denver Broncos and the Chiefs found out.
(Sorry for getting outrageous there, but not putting Juan Thornhill on the field is outrageous, too.)
Dan Sorensen has been playing nearly 100 percent of all defensive snaps in all three games this year. While he comes up with an occasional clutch play, to be sure, he’s also working against his strengths, much like Niemann. He’s being saddled with too much responsibility at this point even when there’s an obvious answer on the bench in Thornhill.
There’s more drama here than just a kid who is not playing, and both sides have been oddly vague in their public-facing comments. Whatever the issue is, the Chiefs have to know that very real standings are at stake and the parties involved need to find a way to bridge their concerns sometime soon.