“At this point, you kind of just prepare to play the game with the guys that are in the building, and let the front office and stuff handle that,” team leader and quarterback Patrick Mahomes II replied when asked about Jones’ potential absence on Thursday Night Football during his September 3 press conference.
Then Mahomes was asked if there was ever an “expectation” that his teammates would follow his lead after he agreed to a team-friendly extension back in 2020 — and this is where the NFL MVP’s response took a bit of a turn. Take a listen.
“Um. I mean, I know how special it is here,” Mahomes voiced. “And I know how special the thing we got going [is]. I stay out of contract stuff, but I know I’m lucky to be in this place and I want to go out there and win as many championships as I can.”
After the comment, Arrowhead Pride analyst Bryan Stewart stated what many Chiefs fans are probably thinking after hearing this: “There’s a message in there for [Jones] and you don’t have to look too deep to find it.”
Chiefs HC Andy Reid Talks Chris Jones Ahead of Week 1 vs the Lions
“Listen, you’re never sure how it’s going to work out,” Big Red began. “You deal with too many people on this type of thing, so these things can go either direction.”
“Again, I don’t spend a lot of time on it,” Reid reiterated. “I’ve got 90 guys — or had 90 guys in the offseason — that we need to make sure are going in the right direction. And then now, we’re getting ready to play a game. So, you’re either here or not here, and that’s how I go about it.”
According to NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero, “Chris Jones racked up roughly $2 million in fines during his training camp holdout… gave up a $500,000 workout bonus [and] would forfeit an additional $1,083,333 for each regular-season game missed.”
The reporter referred to it as the “running tab,” and the last we heard from Jones — he “can afford” the current amount, and potentially more. The All-Pro revealed “Week 8” as a possible return date at the time.
It goes without saying, but that’s a long way away from the season opener on September 7.
Chiefs Provide Positive Injury Updates on WR Kadarius Toney & CB L’Jarius Sneed
It wasn’t all bad news on September 3. “The Chiefs might not have Chris Jones for Week 1, but [wide receiver] Kadarius Toney is good to go for Thursday night, and corner L’Jarius Sneed has been trending up since last week,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported. “Reinforcements for a shorthanded team.”
ESPN’s Adam Teicher also sent photographic evidence of Toney at practice on the 3rd.
“Looks good to go for the Lions on Thursday,” Teicher relayed. Reid had a similar message on Toney during his presser, using the same three words: “Good to go.”
If Toney and Sneed can provide a real impact during the Week 1 opener, it should lessen the blow of Jones — who certainly looks like he’ll miss the Lions game at this point and time. The former is another dynamic weapon for Mahomes on offense, while the latter is one of Steve Spagnuolo’s favorite toys to deploy on defense.
The Chiefs could be in for an early dogfight versus an upstart team out of Detroit. Plain and simple, they’ll take all the help they can get.