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In line to start on Sunday, rookie Wanya Morris is focused on fundamentals

Kansas City’s offensive line is likely to feature a new face against Buffalo.

Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

With veteran left tackle Donovan Smith hampered with a neck stinger, the Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie Wanya Morris is now preparing for his first career start.

“[I’m] just preparing the same way,” the 23-year-old offensive tackle told a gaggle of reporters in the locker room Wednesday — and sounded like someone who had been playing in Kansas City for a long time.

“Your preparation should never change week-in and week-out… [you have to] keep a routine,” he explained. “That’s all I’m going to do. I’m trying to keep the same routine and prepare the same way… and just make sure I’m hyping in on the little details.”

After Smith left with his injury, Morris played 69% of the team’s offensive snaps against the Green Bay Packers on “Sunday Night Football.”

“I finally got my first snaps, really,” he noted. “But it’s been a learning experience. These older guys have put a standard in place — and put the foundation in place — and I’m just trying to do my best to uphold it.”

As he prepares for the most playing time of his young professional career, Morris’ pinch-hit duty has already earned the respect of his peers — and head coach Andy Reid.

“I actually thought he did a nice job — for just stepping in there,” said Reid on Wednesday. “He’s obviously a talented kid — and he’s got good strength [and] good feet. So there’s a good chance he’s in there again this week.”

Selected by Kansas City in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, Morris has also appeared in 38 special teams plays.

“He’s played well,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said of Morris. “If you watch the tape of the [Green Bay] game and the limited snaps he’s been in the game… he’s done a great job on the run game and the pass game.”

Charged with protecting a half-billion-dollar quarterback, Morris’ moment comes at a critical time for the Chiefs’ ailing offense.

“I think now, [we’re] just trying to get them prepared for a great defensive line,” Mahomes said of his linemen. “A lot of the games and stuff that [Buffalo does]… the stunts.”

The quarterback, however, believes Morris is ready to step up.

“As far as playing the position,” he declared, “he’s done a great job.”

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