Flu bug challenging Chiefs’ plans for resting starters vs. Broncos

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs still plan to start rookie Patrick Mahomes and roll out a lineup peppered with young players and backups, a flu bug entering its second week ravaging through the organization could throw a wrench into the plans of head coach Andy Reid.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West breaks off a 25-yard gain against the Miami Dolphins during the team’s 29-13 win at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 24, 2017. (Photo by Justin Olson, ChiefsDigest.com)

“We’ve got a little bit of the flu going around here,” Reid said after practice Friday.

The Chiefs listed seven player questionable for Sunday’s game against Denver including four who missed practice with an illness on Friday. All appeared in line to see significant playing time versus the Broncos. Offensive lineman Cameron Erving joined on Friday a list that includes running back Charcandrick West, defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches and cornerback Kenneth Acker.

Linebacker Tamba Hali and defensive tackle Bennie Logan did not practice at all this week. The team expects to rest both players along with other veterans including quarterback Alex Smith. The club listed Logan as doubtful and Hali as questionable.

Running back Akeem Hunt (shoulder) and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis both practiced in full Friday but carry questionable injury tags for Sunday. The club also ruled out wide receiver Tyreek Hill for personal reasons.

Reid said he had not yet settled on a starting lineup or substitution plans for Sunday’s game at Denver.

“I haven’t put anything on paper yet,” Reid said. “They all practiced, they’re all ready to go. I’ll do all that here as we go. If I can get some of the young guys in I’ll do that for sure.”

Reid expects Mahomes to ready for his first regular season start.

“I think he’ll be excited but I think he’ll handle himself right,” Reid said. “There’s so much responsibility on that position. You’ve got to keep kind of within yourself and make sure you don’t get too far out of that or you lose your focus there. I think he’s pretty good with all that stuff.”

The Chiefs sat 13 starters in their 2013 season finale against the then San Diego Chargers, but Reid declined to indicate if he expected a similar approach this time around.

“I don’t know,” Reid said. “We’ll just see when we get there.”

The Broncos ruled out three players, including starting wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) and backup wide receiver Cody Latimer (thigh). The club listed starting right tackle Donald Stephenson questionable with a hand injury.


OUT: DE Zach Kerr, WR Cody Latimer and WR Emmanuel Sanders
RT Donald Stephenson

Practice Report

Did not participate in practice: WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle), WR Cody Latimer (thigh) and DE Zach Kerry (ankle)
Limited participation: RT Donald Stephenson (hand)
Full participation: QB Paxton Lynch (ankle), T Elijah Wilkinson (illness), LB Joseph Jones (Achilles) and T Cyrus Kouandjio (not injury related)


OUT: WR Tyreek Hill
DT Bennie Logan
 LB Tamba Hali, DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches, RB Akeem Hunt, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, CB Kenneth Acker, RB Charcandrick West, OL Cameron Erving

Practice Report

Did not participate in practice: WR Tyreek Hill (not injury related), DT Bennie Logan (knee), LB Tamba Hali (knee), DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches (illness), RB Charcandrick West (illness), CB Kenneth Acker (illness) and OL Cameron Erving (illness)
Limited participation: None
Full participation: TE Orson Charles (knee), RB Akeem Hunt (shoulder) and LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder)


Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.