Chiefs vs. Chargers: 10 exciting things to watch for in a meaningless game

Just because the Chiefs cannot improve or diminish their playoff situation does not mean there are no key storylines to watch for.

Kansas City Chiefs v New York Jets
Kansas City Chiefs v New York Jets / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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3. Watch Justyn Ross and Kadarius Toney get some targets

The Chiefs have another tough decision here when it comes to milestones with Rashee Rice 62 yards away from being the first Kansas City wide receiver to ever tallie 1,000 yards as a rookie. Even with that being said, the offense is running through Rice currently and the Chiefs cannot afford to jeopardize one of their only playmakers. 

Not everyone can be inactive, but I would also let Justin Watson ride the bench. Mahomes is not playing, and we already know what Watson can do. We are at a point where he is wide receiver number two. 

That leads me to another training camp darling, Justyn Ross. After sitting out all of last season and being suspended six games this season, Ross is off to a rough start to his NFL career. It would be really interesting to watch Ross play the majority of the offensive snaps and see if he can realize some of that tantalizing potential everyone has fallen in love with. 

Toney has been inactive with a hip injury the last two weeks, so it is unclear where he is at in that process. If he is healthy enough to go, though, it would be great to see him get starter reps. He too, has tantalizing athleticism that could be valuable in the playoffs and next season. I know some folks are at their wits-end with him, but he has proven to be a game changer when he is not directly costing the team with drops and mental errors. This is a good week to get his mind right. 

I would round out the rest of the receiving room with Marquez Valdez-Scantling and Mecole Hardman. Valdez-Scantling simply needs to catch a pass or pass or two and get rid of the yips. His name will be called upon at some point in the postseason. Hardman got five snaps last week coming back from injury, so he needs to get his feet wet again before the playoffs. Richie James could see some time, too, but it is not essential with Gabbert leading the way. 

4. Let Travis Kelce get his milestones

If I were Reid, I would leave the 16-yard dilemma completely up to Travis Kelce. He knows his body better than anybody else does. Sure, it would probably be best for the team to let him rest, but Big Red is a strong supporter of legacies. I have no doubt Kelce would get the 16 in the first five minutes of the game and then would be able to sit for the rest of the game. Reid knows how to dial up 87. 

Once that happens though, it would be the first time since week one against the Lions we would be able to watch Noah Gray be the starter at tight end. There will be a life after Kelce and it would be nice to get some insight on Gray’s ceiling. Gray has shown flashes and is fifth in receiving for the Chiefs this season. Reid should dial up Gabbert to Gray as much as possible to see what they got entering a contract season in 2024.