On Thursday, Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid gave some important updates on the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. Here are the biggest takeaways:
Playing time breakdown
Reid had already confirmed earlier this week that he would be sticking to his playing time routine in the third preseason game, but he described it in more detail when he spoke to the press on Thursday.
“Normally, what I do in this third game is play the guys somewhere in that first half,” he said. “At times, I’ll have them come out for the third quarter. They’ll prepare that way — the ones will. Then we let the twos and the threes work in from there as we choose.”
Some doubt Reid’s words. After he mentioned playing reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes for the entire first quarter of the opening preseason game, Reid only kept him in the game for one drive.
Others are expressing concern about injuries to the starters — and are hoping Reid keeps them all on the sideline until the regular season. But if we take what Reid said at face value, the starters will be getting plenty of playing time on Saturday.
Starting lineup notes
After getting some snaps at left guard with the first team offense, it looks like offensive lineman Cam Erving is going to get a shot with the starters on Saturday.
“Yeah, that’s where he’s been working at this week,” Reid said. “We had [Andrew] Wylie there. We feel like both of the guys are starters; you just don’t have enough spots. We let Wylie work some at tackle this week, put Cam in at guard this week — gave him some shots there.
“Listen, they’re all going to play,” he added. “That’s how it’s worked out here. You can’t have enough of those guys. Those two, like I said, we consider starters and we feel comfortable. We want to make sure we got Cam some good, condensed work in there at guard. He’ll get some work there Saturday night.”
Last season, Erving started at left guard in 13 games. Wylie started 10 games at right guard. It is unclear how (or if) the recent addition of guard Jeff Allen will effect the starting lineup.
While safety Tyrann Mathieu — who sustained a shoulder injury in Saturday night’s 17-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers — was a full participant in Thursday’s practice, Reid would not say for sure if he would be playing against the 49ers.
“He was full-go today and did his thing,” Reid said. “He worked yesterday. He banged up his shoulder just a little bit. I’m being a little bit cautious with that. Getting him ready for the season, we’ll see about Saturday night. He might be a guy that we end up sitting down on Saturday night. We’ll go from there.”
If Mathieu is held out from Saturday’s game, it’s likely we’ve seen the last of him during the preseason. But it is a good sign that Mathieu was a full participant in practice. Even if he doesn’t play against San Francisco, the signs suggest he will be completely healthy for the season opener.