Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Khalen Saunders did not practice all week as the team prepared for its Saturday matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Saunders was one of a few players who came down with an illness.
No practice meant a bit of idle time for Saunders, who spent at least part of it exchanging tweets with Chiefs fans. Saunders was unhappy at the narrative that the Kansas City defensive line struggles to press opposing quarterbacks when defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo does not call a blitz.
Oh last thing imma say on this, go check sacks by defensive linemen for Kansas City compared to Dallas.. but we only get pressure from blitzes.. lol ok. Y’all got it. The kingdom has spoken. We suck ass cheek bones apparently https://t.co/J2TF7dQAvk— Sir Binky Moss (@khalenNOTkaylen) December 21, 2022
Our own Nate Christensen wrote a piece Thursday morning presenting that Saunders — who is in the midst of a breakout season — has a point. In his research, Christensen showed that the defensive line is actually playing well above expectation.
Saunders’ frustration led him to suggest that he may look to play somewhere else next year. The 26-year-old is on the final season of his four-year rookie contract.
But it’s all love #chiefskingdom— Sir Binky Moss (@khalenNOTkaylen) December 21, 2022
I’ll be out ya hair soon don’t even trip.
Luv ya guys
Eventually, he clarified that the tweets were only intended for certain portions of the fan base.
All of this isnt directed at the whole kingdom. That’s where y’all got it confused. I’ll never forget when i got drafted and they panned the camera to that guy pounding a beer and damn near crying— Sir Binky Moss (@khalenNOTkaylen) December 21, 2022
It’s the fact that no matter what, a large % of y’all will NEVER BE SATISFIED
Speaking to the media via Zoom on Thursday, defensive leader (and fellow defensive lineman) Chris Jones had some advice for Saunders.
“Stay off of Twitter, bro — forget it,” he said. “At the end of the day, I understand where [you are] coming from — but in this league, everybody’s not going to like you. Everybody’s not going to appreciate you. As long as the guys in the room understand it, as long as this team, which is the most important part... as long as they understand your value, that’s all that matters.
“That’s how social media is these days. A lot of us have platforms and those [apps] that we get on, and we interact with fans, sometimes it can turn ugly. And it can take a left turn. So for me personally, I just stay off of social media — especially during this time — especially engaging with fans who either dislike you or dislike you for a play you did this year or dislike you for a play you did last game. They’ll live with it. We’ll pick it up next game, and we can talk about it later.”
A moment later, Jones expressed love for Chiefs fans, who he believes will come out despite possible negative-degree temperatures on Saturday.
“I know Kansas City fans,” he began, “[They are] the most loyal. They’re going to show up and support. They’re going to be loud. They’re going to be excited.”