How Much Will the Chiefs' Starters Play vs. the Vikings?

The jury is still out as to how long the first-team offense and defense will play in the Chiefs' final preseason game.
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Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest storylines of this preseason has been just how long the Kansas City Chiefs' starters will play in each contest. That's no different heading into the final game.

On Friday night, the Chiefs will host the Minnesota Vikings after defeating both the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals to open up their preseason slate. Head coach Andy Reid hasn't exactly stuck to his playing time plans in the past, particularly with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. No one can necessarily blame Reid for taking his superstar player out earlier than expected, though.

Conner Christopherson of Arrowhead Report joined me on today's Roughing the Kicker podcast to discuss several things, but among them was Reid's timeline and plan. The Chiefs' leader is on the record stating that the first half is what he's shooting for in regards to starters remaining in the game, but I'm not so sure about that.

"What we'll do with this game is, we'll play the ones for the first half," Reid told the media this week. "And then we'll see about after that and go from there. And then the other guys will jump in and fill in."

While Reid's answer does instill at least a bit of confidence in that timeframe, many expected him to treat this third preseason game like a traditional fourth contest. That's the odd thing that comes with a new preseason format: No one truly knows how teams and coaches will adjust. The most telling part of Reid's address to the media was when he got asked again about his proposed in-game schedule for starters.

"I'm just going to see," Reid said. "We will see how it goes, but that's what I've got scheduled for the team." 

I'd focus more on the somewhat loose "I'm just going to see" rather than the near-definite "we'll play the ones for the first half." Although this is the last action the Chiefs' first-teamers will get before the regular season kicks off, history suggests that a final Reid preseason game won't feature his starters as a major part of it.

With that said, I could be completely wrong and Reid could stray from what he's done to close out preseasons in the past. After all, this is a new format and perhaps he wants to get the most out of the limited time he has. It goes without saying that if Mahomes and some of his star teammates play the entire first 30 minutes, though, that it will be a legitimate shock.

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