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Arrowheadlines: Travis Kelce would rather risk a lightning strike than play on turf

Chiefs headlines for Thursday, November 10

Kansas City Chiefs v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

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Travis Kelce is not a fan of playing on turf

1st-Round Rookie Report Card Grades at NFL’s Midseason Mark | Bleacher Report

21. Trent McDuffie, CB, Kansas City Chiefs

For the most part, we’ve opted to give incomplete grades to players who have missed all or most of their rookie seasons because of injury. However, that’s not the route we’re taking with Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Trent McDuffie.

McDuffie has only played in two games for the Chiefs, but he was in the starting lineup for Week 1. After playing 32 defensive spans in the opener, the Washington product was lost to a hamstring injury and subsequently placed on injured reserve. He made his return in Week 9 and was right back in the starting lineup.

The fact that Kansas City, a team with championship aspirations, trusts McDuffie to start when healthy is huge. The 22-year-old’s performance has been big too. He played 96 percent of the defensive snaps in his return and has been more than serviceable in coverage.

McDuffie has allowed just one reception on four targets with a pass deflection. It’s a small sample size, to be sure, but we’ve seen enough to give McDuffie an above-average mark. If he can stay healthy for the rest of the season, he’ll have the chance to bring up his grade substantially.

Grade: C+

NFL QB Index, Week 10: Justin Fields vaults into top 10; Matthew Stafford tumbles out of top 20 |

1 - Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs · Year 6

2022 stats: 8 games | 66.2 pct | 2,605 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 21 pass TD | 6 INT | 176 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 2 fumbles

He reigns. Mahomes has thrown for 1,207 yards and six scores over his past three starts, lofting the ball a career-high 68 times in Sunday night’s white-knuckle win over the Titans. He was chased around by Tennessee’s defensive front, but the constant heat magnified another element of his game: Mahomes saved the Chiefs time and again with his legs — racking up 63 yards off six dashes — and sent the game into overtime with a poetic 14-yard touchdown run before waltzing in for the two-point conversion. There’s no overt weakness to the most eye-poppingly magical signal-caller around.

2022 NFL QB Power Rankings, Week 10: Patrick Mahomes rules them all; Tom Brady returns to top 10 | CBS Sports

1 - Patrick Mahomes

Josh Allen gets all the love for his ability to make plays on the ground, but look at No. 15 breaking out the scrambling for an important win over the tough Titans. Mahomes remains the standard for prime-time playmaking from the pocket.

NFL 2022 midseason report: AFC, NFC questions and key injuries | ESPN

What we don’t know yet: The Chiefs are still figuring who they are on defense. Their pass rush is much improved but inconsistent. Their pressure tends to be every down or nonexistent for long stretches. The Chiefs were playing great run defense early in the season, but that part of their game has declined. Five rookies are either starters or receive significant playing time on defense, so the Chiefs have a reasonable expectation for improvement.

Circle this upcoming game: The Chiefs, who beat the Chargers in Week 2, head to Los Angeles for the rematch in Week 11. A win would give them the season sweep of the division rival closest to them in the standings and a massive edge in their pursuit of a seventh straight AFC West championship. The past three games between the Chiefs and Chargers were decided by six (with a late-deciding TD), six (in overtime) and three points. There just hasn’t been much to separate these two teams when they get together. — Adam Teicher

‘It comes back to us’: Chiefs’ young cornerbacks recognize their role after Rashad Fenton trade | 41 KSHB

Fenton, who played in 47 career games with the Chiefs, was later traded to the Atlanta Falcons right before the buzzer hit zero on the trade deadline.

The trade of “Uncle Fent,” as McDuffie affectionately called him, left the rookie disappointed.

“(He) was just that dude who taught all the DBs,” McDuffie said. “He was one of those dudes who I looked up to and really taught me this system and how to play DB here.”

Joshua Williams, another first-year defensive back, echoed McDuffie’s sentiments on Fenton after last Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

“We love Rashad (Fenton),” Williams said. “He taught all the rookies a lot. He gave me a lot of little tidbits and little tips just coming in as a rookie.”

2023 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Three Quarterbacks in the Top Five Picks |

28. Kansas City Chiefs: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

The Chiefs used their franchise tag on left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and failed to reach an agreement on a long-term deal. In addition, starting right tackle Andrew Wylie is scheduled to become a free agent next offseason. Jones is a massive tackle prospect, and his year-over-year development compared to last season has been impressive.

Around the NFL

Packers claim former first-round safety Johnathan Abram off waivers from Raiders |

The Packers claimed former Las Vegas Raiders safety Johnathan Abram off waivers, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday afternoon.

One of myriad first-round busts from the ill-fated Jon Gruden-Mike Maycock regime, Abram was taken 27th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft and waived Tuesday after three-plus seasons and 36 games with the Silver and Black. Now he’s headed to the Green and Gold, where he’ll presumably look to reset his career and refresh a stagnant Packers back end.

Abram, who started the first six games of the season before tumbling down the Las Vegas depth chart ahead of his release, has 48 tackles this year and an uninspiring 49.5 Pro Football Focus overall grade. However, Packers safeties Adrian Amos (56.1 grade) and Darnell Savage (47.6) haven’t fared much better for a disappointing Packers squad that’s lost five in a row.

‘Mooney’ has been money: Charvarius Ward providing 49ers big-time corner play | ESPN

The player San Francisco quickly honed in on was cornerback Charvarius Ward, an unrestricted free agent from the Kansas City Chiefs who had gotten better in each of his four seasons, was about to turn 26 and had all the makings of the No. 1 corner who could elevate the defense from good to great.

Which is why they signed him to the largest contract they’ve given to a cornerback since Shanahan and Lynch took over in 2017.

“That’s what we hoped he could be,” Shanahan said of their desire for Ward to be their top corner. “I think that’s so hard in free agency. We’ve kind of looked at that almost every year. And when you get into free agency, the money gets so high, and his did too, but to see the player with that money we thought it would be worth it. ... It took us awhile to be able to do that, but when you do take a swing, you hope you hit and I really feel like we have.”

Bills: QB Josh Allen (elbow) day-to-day, ‘we’ll see’ if he plays | ESPN

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is day-to-day with a right elbow injury to the ulnar collateral ligament and related nerves, according to coach Sean McDermott, and will not practice Wednesday.

His status remains uncertain for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

“We’ll see,” McDermott said when asked if Allen would play in the game.

“We will see how he does,” McDermott said. “We use common sense and, obviously, we factor a lot of things in, a medical report being one of them and our doctor’s wisdom and knowledge.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Patrick Mahomes not concerned about recovery after career-high 68 pass attempts

Speaking before Wednesday’s practice, the league’s best quarterback cited his baseball background, showing no concern about such a heavy workload.

“Ever since I’ve been young, I haven’t really gotten sore,” Mahomes claimed, “even when I pitched when I was younger. We do different stuff with my trainers and stuff like that. But other than that, I’m just trying to keep that arm strength up and keep rolling.”

Mahomes conceded that only 13 rushes by running backs is not ideal, and he expects the team to be more balanced in future games.

“I think we still do a good job of trying to mix it up,” he countered. “Obviously that game got a little out of hand as far as throwing the ball a little bit more than we wanted to — compared to running it. Something you have to deal with as an offense — to be able to succeed in this league — is being able to do both. That’s something I think we can do on this team.”

The Titans’ second-ranked rushing defense forced the Chiefs’ game script.

“It’s just the way their team’s built,” Mahomes observed. “Their d-line is a very good defensive line, especially against the run. They do a good job of being in the right gaps. Linebackers fly up and make plays. That day, they had a good game plan for our run game. We had to kind of use those shorter passes to get those yards. That’s just being able to be diverse as an offense. I think the only thing next is we’ve got to score some of those drives where we were getting those yards. That’s something we missed out on this last week.”

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