Mission accomplished. The Kansas City Chiefs secured the No. 1 seed in the AFC with their 17-14 win over the Atlanta Falcons last week at Arrowhead Stadium.
With the win and the first-round playoff bye secured, the Chiefs will have an opportunity to sit some of their starters for an extra week of rest and preparation for the postseason.
On today's episode of Roughing the Kicker, Arrowhead Report's Mark Van Sickle joined me to discuss which players could be held out of Sunday's game and start to look at the matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers.
With Kansas City's first playoff game not scheduled until Jan. 16 or 17, players who take Sunday's game off could have 20-21 days off of game action. That kind of rest is valuable for a team that is dealing with injuries at key positions and needs to get healthy before they make a run at their second-straight Super Bowl.
That being said, here are some players that we could likely see take the field or play more snaps than they usually would.
Byron Pringle, WR
Both Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins are dealing with lower-body injuries and an extra game off could do their soft tissue injuries some good. Pringle was recently activated off of the injured reserve and hasn't seen many snaps on the offensive ball since his return to the active roster. Expect to see a lot from Pringe, Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson as the top two receivers take some more time to heal before the playoffs start.
Tershawn Wharton, DL
While Wharton has played in 49% or more of the defensive snaps in five straight weeks, the NCAA Division II rookie could see an increased snap count if superstar defensive lineman Chris Jones doesn't play. With the extra playing time, Wharton could showcase his skills for the postseason and earn a larger role in the defensive front.
Chad Henne, QB
It's Henne Time! Head coach Andy Reid hinted at the possibility of seeing Henne at some point on Sunday but wasn't sure at what point in the game. Patrick Mahomes showed signs of not fully trusting his interior offensive line in last week's game against the Falcons as he's taken 13 quarterback hits in two weeks while seeing 28 pressures. A week off for Mahomes could do some good for the offense as a whole.
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