There’s very little time to celebrate though as Week 2 is only two short days away. This sets up to be a key primetime matchup in deciding the AFC West this season — the first of two against the rival Los Angeles Chargers.
As of now, LAC may have to enter it without one of their top offensive playmakers.
Keenan Allen ‘Unlikely’ to Return vs. Chiefs
Earlier today on September 13, the Tuesday before the Thursday Night Football outing, NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reported that “Chargers WR Keenan Allen is unlikely to play.”
He added that “there is optimism after tests that his hamstring injury isn’t anything long-term,” alluding that Allen could return for Week 3 against Jacksonville.
A favorite weapon of quarterback Justin Herbert, Allen caught all four of his targets for 66 yards in the season opener. The other wide receivers with receptions were DeAndre Carter (three for 64 yards), Mike Williams (two for 10 yards), and Joshua Palmer (three for five yards) — although the Chargers did utilize their tight ends and running backs in the passing game as well.
Needless to say, this is a major loss for Los Angeles if Allen is unable to go on Thursday.
J.C. Jackson Did Not Practice on Monday
Another important member of the Chargers roster may also be unavailable in Week 2. Big money free-agent cornerback J.C. Jackson missed Week 1 after undergoing ankle surgery this summer.
His return date has always hovered around the second or third game of the season but with the short week, the Chiefs face-off becomes a tough one for Jackson. The shutdown CB did not practice on Monday according to the LAC injury report.
Originally brought in to guard superstars like Tyreek Hill, the Jackson addition was one of the main reasons that many predicted the Chargers would unseat Kansas City in 2022.
Despite Hill’s departure, Jackson’s absence would still be another huge loss for Los Angeles to account for. The ball-hawking corner is one of the better defensive playmakers in the sport and his impact level as a game-changer has a tendency to be high.
Tight end Donald Parham Jr. (hamstring) was the only other Chargers player to miss practice on Monday. OT Rashawn Slater and LB Drue Tranquill were both listed as full practices on the official injury report.
Chiefs-Chargers Recent History
Out of the AFC West competitors, the Chargers have given the Chiefs the most trouble in recent years. They forced a split with Kansas City in 2021 and it took an overtime thriller to knock off LAC after an early-season defeat.
The exact same result occurred in 2020 too — Chargers win at Arrowhead, Chiefs win in L.A. in overtime. You have to go back three seasons for the most recent sweep, in which KC won both 2019 matchups.
Still, the recent Arrowhead history could be slightly concerning to some. Herbert is 2-0 on the road in Kansas City, although only one of those results came against Patrick Mahomes.
Chad Henne started the January 2021 affair (2020 campaign) after the Chiefs clinched the division.
Mahomes and Chiefs Kingdom will be looking to bring the juice — and the noise — with the entire NFL community watching. It’s time to get back to their winning ways at home.