Chiefs stock watch: Which players impressed during Week 18 vs. Chargers?

The outcome of Week 18 bore no influence on the Kansas City Chiefs heading into postseason play next weekend. The Los Angeles Chargers were focused on playing out the string and giving their fans a moment to smile, while Chiefs head coach Andy Reid gave his backup quarterback and many reserves time on the field.

The offense led at quarterback by veteran backup Blaine Gabbert was utilizing the availability of Mecole Hardman, who shook the rust off after spending most of his second tenure with the Chiefs on injured reserve. La’Michael Perine was effective as the every-down running back while the team dealt with injuries to tackles Jawaan Taylor and Wanya Morris in the first half.

Mike Edwards’ got the scoring started on defense with an electric 97-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the first quarter. The game’s highlight for many on the team was Chris Jones collecting a sack to hit 10.5 on the season and get his contract incentive bonus.

The season finale served its purpose in allowing many reserve players to showcase their value and be prepared if needed during the postseason. The home crowd at Arrowhead Stadium will have much to be excited for next week in the Wild Card round.

Here’s a look at how the stock is trending for some players after the Week 18 game at SoFi Stadium:

Stock Up: Chris Jones

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) warms up on the field before an NFL football game against the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Indianapolis Colts;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Indianapolis Colts</a>, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)

The veteran defensive tackle was in uniform for a particular reason: he sought a sack worth over a million dollars in Week 18. Jones secured the important statistic by playing well into the third quarter.

Stock Up: Mike Edwards

Dec 25, 2023; <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Kansas City;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Kansas City</a>, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs safety Mike Edwards (21) is introduced against the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Las Vegas Raiders;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Las Vegas Raiders</a> prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Edwards was one of the few veterans in uniform on Sunday, and he didn’t disappoint in Week 18. The Chiefs safety earned the first score of the game with a 97-yard scoop fumble return for a touchdown.

Stock Up: Mecole Hardman

October 23, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman (17) before the game against the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:San Francisco 49ers;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">San Francisco 49ers</a> at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After missing five weeks due to injury, Hardman needed an opportunity to remind fans that he’s a threat heading into the postseason. He finished Sunday’s game with six catches for 77 yards to lead the team.

Stock Up: Cam Jones

Aug 26, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Cleveland Browns;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Cleveland Browns</a> tight end Thomas Greaney (81) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Cam Jones (44) during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Jones took advantage of the extended playing time in Week 18 by proving his value as a tackler leading the team on Sunday. The rookie finished with 11 tackles after having three total leading into the game.

Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire