KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jordan Lucas played all of 25 defensive snaps in his first 23 NFL games, but when Chiefs' safeties Eric Murray and Armani Watts went down with injuries, Lucas stepped in as the next man up without missing a beat.
“If you're in the NFL you've got to be ready at all times regardless no matter who you are,” Lucas said following his team's 30-14 win over Jacksonville. “When your number is called, you've got to be confident in your preparation during the week and I was that.”
Lucas proved more than confident, picking off a Blake Bortles pass at the goal line. He broke up another pass and took part in six total tackles. He entered the game with two tackles in his career.
What's more, he did it all with his mom Denise watching him play an NFL game in person for the first time.
“Got a big day coming up so she came and wanted to support her son,” Lucas said, his voice choking with emotion, “and I got her out here and I'm going to try and get her out here every game.”
The 25-year-old Lucas came up with several big plays Sunday afternoon, none bigger than his interception of Bortles that ended a Jacksonville scoring threat early in the fourth quarter.
“I just read the quarterback,”Lucas said. “We did a good job of preparing this week and knowing what we were going to get. We knew the matchups.”
Bortles misfired on the pass to tight end James O'Shaughnessy, and Lucas made a diving interception at the 1-yard line. He scrambled to his feet and took off, racing a total of 90.2 yards according to the NFL's Next Gen Stats in taking the ball out to midfield.
“I just made a play on the ball and, when I caught it I felt like a little kid against just running around,” Lucas said. “My guys had some great blocks, great blocks for me.”
Lucas celebrated his play by giving a nod to his fiancee, who is due to deliver the couple's first son in February.
“If you noticed I was cradling the ball, gave it a kiss and did my little signature drop,” Lucas said.
The Chiefs offense raced on to the field with the defense to help Lucas celebrate, which made cornerback Kendall Fuller smile.
“It was fun, man.,” Fuller said. “They always say the things you do in practice, that's what happens in games. In practice during the week he was flying around making plays and it shows up on Sundays.”
Head coach Andy Reid also singled out Lucas at the opening of his postgame press conference.
“(Lucas) steps in, he's been playing special teams for us,” Reid said. “He steps in and gets an interception, which is a great deal.”
It's been a whirlwind five weeks for Lucas and his family. He spent the past two seasons with Miami, primarily playing special teams. He appeared ticketed for another season with the Dolphins when the Chiefs engineered a trade on Sept. 1, sending a 2020 seventh-round pick for Lucas.
He spent the the first few weeks sleeping on an air mattress in his new home in Kansas City before his fiancee Taylor arrived from Florida with all their furniture and belongings.
Lucas said he felt at home the instant he walked in the Chiefs locker room.
“We've got something special here.,” Lucas said. “This is a team. Not only is it a team, but it's a family.”
Taylor is due Feb. 3, which happens to fall on the same day as the 2019 Super Bowl, and Lucas hopes that's a busy week for him.
“It's kind of tricky, but you know everything happens for a reason,” Lucas said. “I'm just anxious to see how we do week-by-week, stack it up brick-by-brick and you know whatever happens happens, it's all God's plan.”
Lucas knows the Chiefs have a long way to go to reach that goal, however.
“But we're eager, we're determined and we've got great leaders on this team, so we're going to put the work in for sure,” he said.