As noted in our 53-man roster projections, Kansas City will likely keep three quarterbacks on this year’s team, especially considering the league’s new emergency quarterback rule. Clubs are now permitted to put a third quarterback in the game if the first two are lost due to injury, and that player — the “emergency quarterback” — does not have to be on the active gameday roster.
But which quarterback is the No. 2 and which quarterback will be deemed an emergency backup is still up for grabs, per head coach Andy Reid. In his media appearance on Monday, he confirmed the battle between third-year quarterback Shane Buechele and 13th-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
“Those two are real close,” said Reid. “I mean they’re real close in there, so they’re competing. Just let it play out here, see how it goes. It’s good competition.”
On Saturday, Buechele was a perfect 10 of 10 for 105 yards and a 15-yard touchdown on the ground. Not to be outdone, Gabbert entered the game in the third quarter — and the Chiefs scored touchdowns on both of his drives. The veteran finished 7 of 8 for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Whereas Gabbert came over to the Chiefs in the offseason via free agency, Buechele has been with the club since 2021, signing that year as an undrafted free-agent rookie.
Chad Henne was the unquestioned backup in his first two seasons, but now it seems as though Reid is giving Buechele a fair shake to win the job.
“He’s familiar with the offense,” said Reid of Buechele. “He kind of knows how we do things. I think he’s got a pretty good feel for the game just in general. You could see the improvement that he’s made from last year with his accuracy, throws, choices on his throws. He’s had a chance to look at these coverages and blitzes that these coordinators throw at you. He’s got that part of it, too.”
In each of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl runs, the backup quarterback came into play somewhere along the line. Reid never hopes to call that number — but if he does this year, the player will have earned it through his play during the preseason.
The Chiefs host the Cleveland Browns in their final preseason game on Saturday at Noon Arrowhead Time.