KANSAS CITY, Mo. – There’s an argument for both sides when it comes to resting players down the stretch after clinching a playoff spot.
And the Chiefs could find themselves in that position after Week 15, leaving coach Andy Reid with a choice.
“I’ve done both, gone both ways with that,” Reid said during Monday’s media session. “I have held people from games and at the same time also played people, just depending on what I feel we need to get ourselves ready if we have that opportunity to continue to play.”
Meanwhile, an argument against sitting out players surrounds maintaining momentum heading into the postseason.
A counterpoint surrounds allowing players to heal from bumps and bruises in order for a team to be 100 percent healthy for a championship push.
Should the latter scenario apply, it wouldn’t surprise to see many of the team’s key starters watching from the sidelines at some point before the end of the regular season.
Of course, the Chiefs have to first take care of business by defeating the Oakland Raiders, among other scenarios.
Entering Sunday, here’s how the Chiefs can clinch, as released by the NFL:
Kansas City clinches a playoff spot with:
1) KC win or tie OR
2) MIA loss or tie OR
3) BAL loss or tie
The Dolphins take on the New England Patriots in an early afternoon game, so the Chiefs will have a good idea where they stand when they take the field in the late afternoon contest against the Raiders.
The Ravens play Monday night against the Detroit Lions.
While arguably a good spot to be in with three regular season games remaining on the schedule, Reid won’t tip his hand on the direction he’ll lean if/when the Chiefs eventually clinch a berth.
“We’re not there yet,” Reid said.
Still, given the current playoff scenarios, the Chiefs (10-3) are a virtual lock to secure in all likelihood the No. 5 seed as a wildcard, barring a Denver Broncos (11-2) collapse in the AFC West.
And unlike the past two seasons in Kansas City, at least the Chiefs have options to consider when it comes to the postseason.
“You’re only allowed to suit so many guys,” Reid said. “Really, you want to win every game, that’s what you want to do. That’s the objective. You work it out what you think works in whatever situation. They’re all different.”