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Kansas City Chiefs HC Andy Reid stuck to his guns on his preseason routine during the first two preseason games, but there may be a departure from the norm in preseason Week 3.
The NFL eliminated a preseason game this offseason, but Reid has approached the three preseason games as he did with a four-game preseason. He ramped starters up, giving them a quarter of work in Week 1, a full half in Week 2. If he’s to follow course, the starter would be in line for three full quarters of play during the third preseason game.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Reid was asked if he intended to play Patrick Mahomes for three quarters on Friday. His answer was about as non-committal as it gets.
“We’ll see, we’ll see how it goes,” Reid said. “He got quite a few snaps, 33 snaps or so the last game.”
After the Chiefs’ defense forced three consecutive three-and-outs, Mahomes got a ton of action in the first half of play against the Cardinals. That included a 15-play opening drive that only resulted in three points. Reid didn’t seem to expect that Mahomes would get that many snaps in Arizona. It could ultimately factor into his decision when it comes to how much Mahomes will play against the Vikings.
“That was a long first half now,” Reid continued. “I wasn’t anticipating 45 plays. But that’s OK, we need the work and he got good work in.”
With a lot of coaches around the league resting their starters and star players during the preseason, Reid’s strategy seems a bit old school. He explained his philosophy for playing Mahomes during this preseason.
“Well, I think it’s good for Pat (Mahomes), but I also think it’s good for the offensive line,” Reid reemphasized. “(It’s important for) Pat to see how that’s going to work and get a feel for them and for them to get a feel for him. So, we’ve got some young guys, that’s why I left them in with Chad (Henne) so that they could get a little bit more extended work there.”
Reid’s potential change in heart for Mahomes doesn’t necessarily mean that other starters won’t get work for Kansas City. No matter the decision at quarterback, expect the new starting offensive line to continue to play final week of the preseason.
“Really, all five of them — we’ve got two veterans on the left side — all five of them are new,” Reid said. “So we need to play. This gives us that opportunity.”
Preseason Week 3 marks the Chiefs’ preseason debut at Arrowhead Stadium. After failing to score a touchdown in the first two weeks of the preseason, I’d anticipate Mahomes at least getting some work in against the Vikings on Friday. With that said, these comments from Reid certainly suggest that Mahomes’ playtime against the Vikings is far from decided.