Chiefs will rest Patrick Mahomes in Week 18, Blaine Gabbert to start

With the Chiefs locked in as the AFC's No. 3 seed, head coach Andy Reid plans on resting some of the team's key starters in the regular-season finale against the Chargers.

Reid announced in his Wednesday press conference that quarterback Patrick Mahomes won't play with Blaine Gabbert taking over as this week's QB1.

"And then we'll rotate the other guys in as we go," Reid said.

That means Mahomes will finish the 2023 season having completed 67.2 percent of his throws for 4,183 yards with 27 touchdowns and a career-high 14 interceptions. That works out to a 92.6 passer rating.

Reid has rested players like this before, notably doing so back in 2017 when Mahomes made his first start as a rookie in the regular-season finale against Denver.

Gabbert, 34, has appeared in one game for the Chiefs this year, completing 3-of-5 passes for 31 yards with two interceptions back in September against Chicago.

The Jaguars No. 10 overall pick of the 2011 draft, Gabbert has not made a start since 2018 when he was with Tennessee.

There are also players with milestones or incentives who may or may not play — like tight end Travis Kelce, who is currently 16 yards away from his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season. Reid said “We’ll see” about Kelce’s playing time when asked about it during the press conference.

Defensive lineman Chris Jones (groin spasm), running back Isiah Pacheco (quad contusion), receiver Rashee Rice (hamstring), and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (calf) won’t practice on Wednesday. With those four dealing with injuries, it seems likely that they’ll join Mahomes as resting players for Sunday’s contest.