With Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers virtually meaningless, the Kansas City Chiefs will not only get to rest their starters but they give their young players invaluable game experience.
Rookie defensive end Mike Danna is one of those inexperienced members who will see the field more as a result of the rested starters.
Danna talked to the media on Wednesday about making his first start in the league and said he's excited to make the most of the opportunity.
“It’s a dream come true to be able to represent the name on my back and the Chiefs organization," Danna said. "It's a blessing. Like I always say, not too many people get to do this thing. To be able to come in and possibly start, it’s a great feeling. I just know that when the door is knocking, I've got to answer, show up on time, do what I got to do, make sure my teammates and my coaches trust me when I'm out on that field.”
Danna has seen some playing time this season at the defensive end position. This year, the rookie has taken 273 defensive snaps in 12 games. A hamstring injury he suffered against the New England Patriots in Week 4 landed Danna on the injured reserve, causing him to miss three games.
Since returning, the Michigan product has recorded 16 tackles, five quarterback hits, three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. For the season, Danna has notched 23 tackles, eight pressures, six quarterback hits, four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
Danna has played the fourth-most snaps out of all the defensive ends and he could see his playing time increase in the postseason. Ahead of the game, Danna said his approach to this week isn't going to be different than in the week's past.
“Every week, you’ve got to be locked in," Danna said. "This is an important week, it’s the last game of the season so I'm going to come in and prepare like it’s the first game of the season. This is a big game for us going into the playoffs. We’ve got to have the right mindset going into this game and handle business.”