Chiefs Secure Playoff Seed, Patrick Mahomes and Starters to Rest in Week 18 against Chargers

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Multiple Kansas City Chiefs starters will have a week off before the playoffs begin. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid announced Wednesday during his press conference that he will be resting some players against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

One of those players who will not see in-game action is defending Super Bowl and league MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In his absence, quarterback Blaine Gabbert will get the start. 

Gabbert has appeared in one game this season, his first with the Chiefs, throwing for 31 yards with two interceptions. In his career, going back to 2011, he has 9,333 passing yards, 51 touchdowns and 49 interceptions. 

Speaking about the other players on the team, Reid said they will “rotate the other guys in as we go.”

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Last week, Kansas City locked up the AFC West title with a 25-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. That win, along with other results from across the league, put the Chiefs as the No. 3 seed in the AFC. 

Since the regular season finale against the divisional opponent cannot move his team up or down in the playoff picture, Reid believes it is more beneficial to rest starters rather than risk injury in a meaningless game.

Reid emphasized the importance of having a good week of preparation, even if the starters do not play.

When asked if the players who are a little banged up will be playing or will rotate out, Reid said he wants them to focus on rehab “and then we go from there.”

Many players are close to hitting incentives or milestones this week, and Reid said it “depends what the milestone is” when asked if he would prioritize those players on the cusp of playing or not. As star tight end Travis Kelce is near hitting his eighth consecutive season with 1,000-plus receiving, people are wondering if he will be hitting the field this week.

Reid did not give much insight on the matter, saying he will see how things go. He said, chuckling, that those types of conversations are usually one-sided when asked how talks of this matter would go with Kelce.

Resting the starters is something Reid has done in the past when his playoff spot was locked down.

Heading into the matchup, the Chargers stand at 5–11 while the Chiefs are 10–6.

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