Thornhill is a defensive fixture
During the first few weeks of the regular season, the disappearance of Juan Thornhill was a major storyline. The third-year safety opened the season as a starter playing 95 percent of snaps in the season-opening win over the Cleveland Browns. From there, however, Thornhill lost his starting role to Dan Sorensen and even played a season-low 14 percent of snaps in Week 2.
It was clear that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was trying to teach Thornhill a lesson about something but he was killing the on-field product in the process. While guys up front were adjusting and injured, the secondary was ailing because Sorensen was a clear deficit when on the field—and Spags was forcing him into playing time just to provide tough love or lessons to a much better player in Thornhill.
Thornhill’s playing time slowly improved but he was still clearly in Spags’ doghouse through Week 5 when he was still on the field for only 44 percent of snaps. However, in Week 6, something changed. Thornhill was back to 100 percent of snaps against the Washington Football Team and hasn’t played less than 83 percent of snaps ever since. He played 100 percent of the time against the Packers in Week 9, giving the Chiefs three wins in four games since Thornhill’s return.