On Wednesday, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that 35-year-old backup quarterback Chad Henne will start Sunday’s Week 17 game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium.
“I think he’s excited,” Reid told reporters. “He’s all in. It’s a great opportunity for him.”
The Chiefs have already clinched the AFC’s first seed in the postseason, so the whole team will get a full week of rest before the Divisional round game. But as Reid has often done in the past, he will try to get some extra rest for his starters. So starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes — and undoubtedly some other key players on both offense and defense — will sit out the last game of the regular season.
Henne is now in his 11th NFL season — and his third as a Kansas City backup quarterback. He has played a handful of snaps in three Chiefs games — two this season and one in 2018 — but he has never started a game for Kansas City. When Mahomes was injured in 2019, Henne himself was on injured reserve — so Matt Moore started the two games Mahomes missed.
Henne hasn’t had a start since September 21, 2014, when he took the opening snaps for the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts won that game 44-17.
In all probability, Mahomes won’t even be active for the game. It is likely that Moore — now on the Chiefs practice squad — will receive a game-day elevation to the active roster, so that if Henne is injured, Moore will be able to step in.