Reid revealed his decision on his star QB, also sharing some thoughts on incentive and milestone players in Week 18.
The Kansas City Chiefs are just a handful of days away from capping off their 2023-24 regular season against the Los Angeles Chargers. With the team back at practice on Wednesday, a handful of players won’t be on the field.
According to head coach Andy Reid, four Chiefs will be held out of the afternoon’s practice. Defensive tackle Chris Jones (groin spasm), cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (calf strain), running back Isiah Pacheco (quad contusion) and wide receiver Rashee Rice (hamstring) will focus on rehab and recovery.
Speaking to the media, Reid also provided some brief updates on what the Chiefs’ lineup could look like and which stars are tracking to play or sit out.
Patrick Mahomes’s regular season is over, Blaine Gabbert to start
As many expected, Patrick Mahomes won’t play on Sunday in Los Angeles. In 16 games played this season, he’ll finish with 4,183 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 92.6 passer rating. There’s a case to be made that this was the worst statistical campaign of Mahomes’s illustrious career thus far, although he still managed to be one of the most valuable players in the sport. Mahomes now gets a head start on resting up and preparing for the postseason.
In Mahomes’s place, backup Blaine Gabbert will get the nod in Week 18. The veteran last played in a Week 3 blowout win over the Chicago Bears, completing three of five passes for 31 yards and a pair of interceptions. Gabbert, 34, has over a decade of experience and said he’s telling his younger teammates to “have fun, cut it loose and just go play ball” against the Chargers. Chris Oladokun is expected to be Gabbert’s backup.
Reid addresses potential availability of Travis Kelce, Chris Jones in Week 18
The Chiefs find themselves in a unique situation this weekend, as a pair of star-level players are within striking distance of some key benchmarks. Tight end Travis Kelce, sitting at 984 receiving yards, is just 16 yards away from extending his historic streak of 1,000-yard campaigns to eight in a row. Defensive tackle Chris Jones is at 9.5 sacks, needing just a half-sack more to trigger a $1.25M incentive in his contract.
When asked about incentive or milestone players being in the game this week, Reid said it “depends on what the milestone is.” Describing the situation as a “one-sided” conversation, it appears that Reid is leaving the door open for those bars to possibly be reached in Week 18. Gabbert said it’s ultimately the head coach’s decision on who plays but if Kelce is on the field, the Chiefs are going to “do our damn best” to get the future Hall of Fame pass-catcher his required number of yards.