NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz never missed a snap in his NFL career spanning parts of eight seasons and 121 games, until a knee injury briefly forced him out of Kansas City 35-32 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
After 7,894 snaps, the streak came to an end.
“It sucks,” Schwartz said. “It was seven and a half years running. A pretty cool thing.”
The streak ended when Schwartz found himself rolled up when Titans linebacker Harold Landry sacked Patrick Mahomes for an 8-yard loss. Schwartz immediately knew something wasn't right.
“You do the kind of inventory and make sure nothing's going in the wrong direction or drastically wrong, and seem to have avoided that,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz tried to walk off the injury to no avail. He wanted to stay in the game, but there were two issues. One is that officials stopped play for his injury, which means the Chiefs would have needed to burn a timeout to put him back into the game. Schwartz also didn't want to hurt the team.
“I think we were in a not-so-good down and distance, and I didn't want to go out there just for pride's sake and all the sudden my guy turns the corner, runs into Pat and now Pat's hurt,” Schwartz said. “That's not something that I'd be stupid enough to do.”
Schwartz ended up missing all of just three offensive snaps before returning in the second half.
“At halftime, we came back and just wanted to make sure everything was fine and I wasn't putting myself at actual risk,” Schwartz said. “After that, came back out, moved around a little bit and felt fine. Felt like I could go.”
Schwartz wasn't sure if he was 100 percent in the second half.
“I felt like I moved around pretty well,” he said. “I don't have to pull at all, so never got to truly go full speed. Felt like a pretty normal range of motion and movement all that.”
Schwartz started his 122nd-consecutive game on Sunday. Only three players have longer active streaks: Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (218 games), Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (137) and Baltimore cornerback Brandon Carr (184). Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford didn't play on Sunday, ending his 136-game starting streak. New Orleans defensive end Cameron Jordan also owns a 122-game streak along with Schwartz.
But none had an active snap streak longer than Schwartz.
“Now I'm just normal like everybody else,” he said with a laugh.