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Chiefs’ Chris Oladokun cherishing backup opportunity against Chargers

Kansas City’s second-year backup quarterback could see the field during Sunday’s game in Los Angeles.

NFL: Preseason-Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With the Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes resting until Wild Card Weekend of the AFC playoffs — where the AFC West champions are locked into the third seed — the team’s other passers are getting ready to make an impact in the regular season finale.

“I think it’s important to stay in the routine that I’ve built over the last two years I’ve been here,” backup quarterback Chris Oladokun told a gaggle of reporters in the locker room on Wednesday. “So preparation-wise, nothing changes for me. It’s sort of just going out there and doing what I know — doing what I can do to help the team.”

With nothing at stake in Sunday’s Week 18 game against the Los Angeles Chargers, head coach Andy Reid announced on Wednesday that the Chiefs would start veteran Blaine Gabbert over Mahomes. He also confirmed to reporters that the 26-year-old Oladokun will be elevated from the practice squad to serve as Gabbert’s backup.

The former South Dakota State Jackrabbit originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round pick (241st overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was released toward the end of training camp. He joined Kansas City’s practice squad as the 2022 season began — and has remained there through this season.

“Even now when I’m on the practice squad, that’s still my preparation,” he told reporters. “I’m still making sure that Blaine and Pat are ready. And I’m still very much involved in the game planning and schemes — knowing not only what our offense does, but also the other team’s offense.”

Reid declined to say whether the team would try to Oladokun into Sunday’s game even if Gabbert remained healthy — but the team’s third quarterback will be ready for whatever happens.

“I’ll definitely be excited and ready for the opportunity,” he said. “Opportunities don’t come around too often in the NFL — so you know if my name and number gets called… I’ll be ready to step in there. And, you know, help this team win.”

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