The Kansas City Chiefs lucked out this year, with their bye week falling smack dab in the middle of the season, giving the players and coaching staff a much-needed break from the grind at a crucial time of the NFL season. Some players utilize their time away from the facility to turn their brains off and forget about football for a few days.
One player who subscribes to this philosophy is rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice, who said while standing outside of his locker on Thursday that he went back to his hometown and, “got some good cooking from [his] Grandma” before he returned to Kansas City to spend some time with family. “I flew my mom to Kansas for the first time.”
Rice said that he made a point to step away from everything during his time away.
“I turned the brain off. Stopped thinking about football. Just went to watch my high school and my college play.”
Safety Justin Reid took a similar approach as Rice during the bye, except he spent his time relaxing on the beach at an undisclosed location.
Live and love life! Squeezing every drop outta every day! pic.twitter.com/mCzBfEISFF— Justin Reid (@JustinqReid) November 13, 2023
“It was great,” said Reid. “I got a chance to travel, spend some time really just relaxing, getting off my feet and clearing the mind and getting ready for a stretch down here.”
Like his rookie teammate, Reid said he did his best to separate himself from football and recharge his batteries in preparation for the second half of the season.
“I think it’s important that you do get away from it and let your mind rest from it and prepare for a long run these next four months to get ready to play some really dominant football.“
Then you have guys like quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
While they also take some time away to spend with family and supporting their social causes, they can never truly separate themselves from the game and spend their bye week watching film, looking for ways to improve.
“I got to spend some time in Texas with the family, then obviously had my charity gala which was really cool,” said Mahomes from the podium after practice. “Then [I] got to go to the Texas Tech game at KU. A lot of family time — got to look at a little bit of football as well. It’s always good to get the bye week, especially at that midpoint of the season to kind of refresh and restart for the next part of it.”
Mahomes said that he likes to use the bye week to get back to basics and reset anything that might have fallen out of whack throughout the season.
“I always go back to the fundamentals, try to get back to my fundamentals as best as I can during the bye week.”
He also watched some tape and looked for areas where the offense could get better/
“Seeing what we did well, what we can improve on and then try to use that into this next part of the season and try to be even better than we went into the bye.”
And while tight end Travis Kelce and Justin Reid might be jet-setting off to South America and beaches unknown, defensive lineman Chris Jones may have come out the bye-week the biggest winner of all.
When the All-Pro pass rusher was asked what he did during the bye week, he said that he got some much-needed rest.
“I did a little bit of it all. I watched film, I was able to sleep, play with my kids,” said Jones. “Most importantly, I got a lot of sleep. I haven’t slept like that in a long time. I got to hang out with my kids, take them to school. Rewatched all of the games I played a part of — the good, the bad, what I can improve on, what I can eliminate, like costly penalties.”
The last part about the penalties was a reference to Jones’ personal foul for unsportsmanlike conduct that he was called for in Kansas City’s last game against the Miami Dolphins in Frankfurt, Germany.
But Jones said the highlight of his bye week actually came while waiting in line to pick up his kids from school.
“[The] crazy thing about school is that they got this line you got to stay in every day, and I was skipping the line because they have two entry points,” he explained, retelling the story. “And the school stopped me one day and was like, ‘Listen, Mr. Jones, you’ve been coming through the wrong line every day.’ And she was so nice about it, so I was like ‘OK, OK.’ That was the highlight of my bye week. Skipping school lines.”
We watch these guys do superhuman things out on the football field every week, and sometimes we forget that they also have an everyday private life like the rest of us, prone to making the same mistakes we all make — such as driving in the exit and accidentally skipping the pickup line.
Regardless of how the team spent their week away, we can all agree that having them back is good. The Chiefs play the Eagles on Monday night.