UPDATE 1:28 p.m. Arrowhead Time: According to a report from friend-of-the-site Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest, the team’s missing equipment has arrived in Foxborough, and will be in the hands of the team shortly.
I’m told the #Chiefs equipment has arrived in Foxborough and will be loaded in to the stadium shortly.— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) December 8, 2019
Derrick also reported that the airline may have some responsibility in this mess — and the problem would have been discovered earlier if there hadn’t been a game being played in Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.
I’m told airline didn’t unload one of the containers when team arrived yesterday. Equipment managers typically set everything Saturday night, but couldn’t last night because of state championship games at Gillette. Crew arrived this morning and immediately discovered issue.— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) December 8, 2019
And CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson provided some visual evidence.
Crisis Averted! Chiefs equipment bags have arrived! pic.twitter.com/SQcwMdpH2u— Tracy Wolfson (@tracywolfson) December 8, 2019
But according to a report from ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, a significant part of the team’s equipment — said to be shoulder pads, helmets and footballs for up to 35 of the team’s players — is not in Foxborough.
Chiefs’ gear for today’s game mistakenly was sent to New Jersey instead and is now on its way to Foxboro, sources tell ESPN.https://t.co/JftFYCuHaj— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 8, 2019
In a twist that will be familiar to regular air travelers, the missing equipment apparently ended up in New Jersey instead of New England. In this case, however, the report says it isn’t the fault of airline employees who simply routed luggage to the wrong plane. It appears that the missing equipment arrived at the right destination, but was all in a container that the team itself failed to remove from the plane.
I'm told the Chiefs' missing gear is expected to arrive "shortly" and all of this came about as an honest mistake. https://t.co/VUgmUVPwh7— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) December 8, 2019
The missing container is now being rushed to Foxborough, where it is expected to arrive between 2 and 2:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time, which should be in time for the team to be ready for the 3:25 p.m. kickoff.
It does, however, raise the question of how — potentially without the use of some of its equipment — the team will be able to do their pre-game warmups in the usual way. In addition, a source has told Schefter that if the container arrives later than expected — that is, if it doesn’t arrive in time for the Chiefs to be ready to be play by 3:25 p.m. — there is the possibility Kansas City would have to forfeit the game.
Such an extreme outcome would be nearly unprecedented. In its history, the NFL has never had a team forfeit a game — although there was a game in 1921 that some historians have characterized as a forfeited game.