Chiefs’ Ma­homes to start sec­ond half

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BASEBALL/NFL -

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — It has been years since the Kansas City Chiefs gave their fans any rea­son to stick around af­ter half­time of their pre­sea­son opener, when the starters and back­ups gen­er­ally take a seat.

That will change Fri­day night.

Chiefs Coach Andy Reid plans to give each of his quar­ter­backs a full quar­ter against the San Fran­cisco 49ers. That means Alex Smith will start and vet­eran backup Tyler Bray will get the sec­ond quar­ter, while first- round draft pick Pa­trick Ma­homes will start the sec­ond half.

It’s ar­guably the most an­tic­i­pated pre­sea­son de­but by a Chiefs rookie since 1983, which also was the last time Kansas City spent a firstround draft pick on a quar­ter­back.

Asked what he wants to see out of his young sig­nal caller, Reid replied: “I’d tell you this with ev­ery­one: ex­e­cute. Ob­vi­ously the quar­ter­backs have a lit­tle more re­spon­si­bil­ity with all the calls and so on, but the main thing is to ex­e­cute.”

Reid said most of the starters would play the first quar­ter along­side Smith, while the back­ups on the depth chart this week will have Bray un­der cen­ter. So what­ever the out­come for Ma­homes is Fri­day night, it must be ex­am­ined through the prism of work­ing with third-team play­ers.

Like­wise, it will al­most cer­tainly come against the sec­ond- and third-team 49ers de­fense.

That’s one rea­son Reid was ret­i­cent Tues­day fol­low­ing the Chiefs’ fi­nal open prac­tice of the week to put too much stock in a sin­gle pre­sea­son game. He in­stead will lump the per­for­mances in a game set­ting along with what he’s seen out of prac­tice and the meet­ing rooms, and be­gin de­lib­er­at­ing with his coach­ing staff on what will ul­ti­mately com­prise his 53-man ros­ter.

With changes to the cut­down rules, he’ll also have three more games to ex­am­ine.

“The first pre­sea­son game, ev­ery­one has an op­por­tu­nity to play. Af­ter that, it’s not guar­an­teed,” Reid said. “That kind of stuff has never changed. The thing you don’t want to do is give an­other team, if pos­si­ble, a good player. You want to make sure you do as thor­ough eval­u­a­tion as you can.”

Sev­eral starters are also un­likely to play be­cause of in­juries, and at least one of them could force the Chiefs to make a ros­ter move ahead of their pre­sea­son opener.

Reid in­di­cated kicker Cairo San­tos could be out while nurs­ing a groin in­jury.

“We’ll just mon­i­tor it and see how he does,” said Reid, who had for­mer Stan­ford kicker Con­rad Ukropina and Lib­erty’s John Lunsford in for an au­di­tion. “We’ve got some kick­ers that are here to come in. We’ll work those guys out just in case he can’t go in this game.

“Other than that,” Reid said, “he’s go­ing to be fine. It’s not a se­ri­ous deal.”

Most of the other in­jury woes have oc­curred on de­fense.

Rookie line­man Tanoh Kpas­sagnon was the lat­est to go down with what Reid called shin splints. DT Ben­nie Lo­gan has al­ready been out with a knee in­jury, while sec­ond-year pro Chris Jones re­mains on the PUP list fol­low­ing off­sea­son knee surgery.

DT Roy Miller, signed last week, con­tin­ues to work his way back from a torn Achilles ten­don sus­tained last Oc­to­ber. He has yet to prac­tice with the team.

In the sec­ondary, star safety Eric Berry is un­likely to play while deal­ing with a heel in­jury that has side­lined him since Satur­day. Corner­backs De’Vante Bausby (an­kle) and Ja­coby Glenn (concussion) are also out, while lineback­ers Tamba Hali and Dadi Ni­co­las re­main out with knee in­juries.

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