Andy Reid Rules Out 3 Chiefs Starters for Final Preseason Game

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Patrick Mahomes

Getty Kansas City Chiefs starters Marquez Valdes-Scantling, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Patrick Mahomes II (left to right) watch from the sidelines.

It’s been a busy Tuesday in Chiefs Kingdom. Despite announcing three roster cuts ahead of time on Monday, August 22, Kansas City was still forced to drop down two more spots to the NFL mandate of 80 by 3 p.m. CST.

They did so with injury designations, revealing some unfortunate news about running back Derrick Gore. The well-liked grinder was placed on the injured reserve with a thumb fracture, ending his season. Recovering offensive tackle Lucas Niang was also transferred to the PUP list, which means he’ll miss the first four weeks of the 2022 campaign.

All of that is on the heels of the report that tight end Blake Bell had surgery on his hip and will be out indefinitely. The Chiefs have not decided what to do with the veteran TE at this time.

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Updates on Smith-Schuster, Dunlap & Fenton

Before most of this occurred, head coach Andy Reid addressed the media on August 23. At the start of this press conference, he provided an injury update on three key starters:

Carlos Dunlap has some inflamation in his Achilles, he won’t play. It is getting better, however. [Rashad] Fenton with a groin strain, won’t play… and then JuJu [Smith-Schuster], but JuJu is making progress. Everyone else is scheduled to play.

Bell, Niang and Gore were included in this debrief as well, but the three veterans above are suffering from short-term ailments. Dunlap’s Achilles issue just sprouted up on August 22, after Arrowhead Pride beat member Pete Sweeney reported that it had been “hindering” him of late.

Fenton, on the other hand, left the second preseason game with the aforementioned groin injury. The cornerback has dealt with various ailments in recent years, including a shoulder issue that he rehabbed throughout the spring after offseason surgery.

The greatest concern from fans might be for Smith-Schuster, Patrick Mahomes’ new wide receiver one. His sore knee has now kept him out since the practice after the first preseason outing. Arrowhead faithful are dying to get him back but Reid recommended patience at this time.

“I think [Smith-Schuster] will be fine,” Reid told reporters as they looked toward Week 1. “I mean, he’s right there right now.”

Although it appears this trio will rest up against Green Bay, the concern level doesn’t seem all that great beyond that. Dunlap’s injury is the most interesting to monitor, considering his age and the precarious nature of the Achilles tendon.

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Will Mahomes Play in Preseason Finale?

In terms of Mahomes and the quarterback position, Big Red noted that he hasn’t “made up my mind on all that” yet.

Mahomes was scheduled to play the first quarter in preseason game one and the first half in game two — but came out early both times due to his efficiency with the football. Considering the way the superstar signal-caller has lit it up on the field all summer, there’s really nothing left to prove in the third and final preseason outing.

Having said that, the Chiefs have a ton of new pieces on the offense this year so it wouldn’t be shocking if Coach Reid decided to get his QB a few more reps in before the games actually count. After all, like Smith-Schuster’s knee, the first NFL Sunday is just around the corner.


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