Chad Henne to Start at Quarterback for Chiefs in Week 17

Veteran quarterback Chad Henne will start for the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17, as the Chiefs are already locked in as the AFC's No. 1 seed.
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Henne given Sunday.

More precisely, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne has been given the starting job for the AFC's top seed when they face off with the Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday's Week 17 matchup.

Since the Chiefs locked up the AFC's lone first-round bye and full-playoff home-field advantage with a nail-biting victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16, it always made sense that the Chiefs could rest starters in their last game of the regular season. Now, the suspected moves are beginning to become official as Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed on Wednesday that Henne would start against the Chargers.

"Yeah, I haven’t gone through all the deactivations and activations, but Chad will go ahead and play, yeah," Reid told the media. "And there’s a good chance [practice squad quarterback] Matt [Moore]’s up, but we’ll see when it’s all said and done how that works out."

Reid also confirmed that larger-scale rests would be on the way this weekend for other players, without confirming specifics.

"I think it’s a good opportunity for some of our young guys, our guys who haven’t had a chance to play, to get in and play," Reid said. "I will, for better terms I guess, sit some of the starters and the best I can, rest them up and get them ready for later. But for right now, I’m excited to let these other guys get in and have an opportunity to play."

As the week's starter, Henne also spoke to the media on Wednesday about his week of preparation leading up to his first start as a member of the Chiefs and his first overall start since 2014.

"I mean, it's been a while," Henne said. "It's crazy to think my last game was 2014. I mean, I got all my games in when I was young and then I had like a five- or six-year span where I didn't get any playing time or just like, some playing time, just when we were up or down, but I'm really excited."

Henne, now 35 years old, has been with the Chiefs since the 2018 season, but it was Moore who stepped in during Mahomes' absence in 2019 after Mahomes' midseason knee injury. Henne fractured his ankle in the Chiefs' third preseason game of the 2019 season and didn't return until after Mahomes was back on the field.

Now, Henne says he'd like to take this weekend as an opportunity to prove that he still has a rightful place as an NFL quarterback.

"Sure, deep down, always," Henne said. "When we go out there and practice against the defense each and every day, I try to give them the best look each and every week and, you know, fit throws in there that are tight throws and that you normally do in the game that you have to make. So, I think being prepared all the way through this year with the defense and giving them a look hopefully will prepare me for Sunday."