8 late-season storylines that will shape the Chiefs' future

Even some of the smaller moves the Chiefs coaches decide to make in the next few weeks could yield significant returns or insights down the road for the Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages
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Wanya Morris holds it down

Of all of the developments that could matter the most for the Chiefs down the stretch, this is the most important. Few positions on the football field are as vital as the blindside protector at left tackle, and the Chiefs have paid handsomely to have someone fill that role in front of Alex Smith and then Patrick Mahomes.

The most recent attempt to find someone new at left tackle was when the Chiefs signed veteran Donovan Smith in free agency to a one-year deal after he spent the last several seasons in Tampa Bay. Smith held down the role for the season's first half, but a recent injury knocked him out of the last couple of games with a neck concern.

Since that time, the Chiefs have been playing Wanya Morris, who was their third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and an obvious candidate to replace Smith next season when Smith's deal is up. Before Morris had played the last few games, the hope for him was that he'd be ready to compete for a potential starting role in 2024. Now he might have it locked down even if Smith comes back.

If Morris can continue to look like a safe-enough player to hold down the tackle spot in very important contests for the Chiefs, Morris might be penciled in as the team's long-term starter outside—saving them a ton of money and some serious headaches for the next few years.