With Chris Jones still holding out, Andy Reid preparing "next guy up"

Chiefs Nation continues to hope something can be worked out between the team and Chris Jones to get the star defensive player back before Thursday's season opener. Reality is: The sides are running out of time, and Jones likely won't play at least the season opener.

The Chiefs know that and are prepared for that.

"I would tell you that, yeah, you move on," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Friday, via Jesse Newell of the Kansas City Star. "As a coach, when the player is not here, then the next guy is up and rolling. Chris is a great player, but we've got other good players that will have to step their game up to fill the role of defensive tackle, defensive end and so on. Everybody just has to play their best, and then you work through it.

"But to think you're going to fill in for Chris, I mean that's not what you're doing. The next man comes up, and you try to utilize his strengths and let him get in there and play. We've had success doing that, and so we'll do it again. I know the guys are excited to get in and play."

The Chiefs list Tershawn Wharton, Keondre Coburn and Danny Shelton as reserves at defensive tackle behind Jones and Derrick Nnadi. Wharton started alongside Nnadi in last week's preseason game.

None, though, are Jones, who had 15.5 sacks and 29 quarterback hits in earning All-Pro honors.

Reid, who has left General Manager Brett Veach to handle negotiations, said Jones likely would play against the Lions if he arrived this weekend.

"One thing about Chris is he keeps himself in good shape," Reid said. "I haven't seen him, but I would anticipate he'd come back in relatively good shape. It's just kind of working himself into football shape. As long as he's physically in good shape, you could kind of start working him in and getting him going and you play it by ear and eyes after that and see where he's at."

Jones is entering the final year of his deal scheduled to make $19.5 million this season.