Chiefs' defense channels 'L'Jarius energy' in honor of grieving teammate

Cowboys Chiefs Football
Posted at 6:00 PM, Dec 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-12 21:00:46-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs dominated the rival Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, but much of the team’s focus was 550 miles south in Minden, Louisiana.

That’s where cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was with his grieving family after his brother’s murder Friday night in his hometown.

Tqarontarion ”TQ” Harrison, 32, was stabbed to death. Police in northwest Louisiana have arrested a woman on suspicion of homicide in Harrison’s death.

“Our hearts go out to him,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “Great kid, great player.”

Several members of Sneed’s family were in Kansas City for a visit this weekend when Harrison died.

The team arranged to get Sneed and his family home “to be where they need to be to go through the grieving process,” Reid said. “That locker room is grieving with him.”

Sneed and his family weighed heavy on his teammates’ hearts and minds after a 48-9 win against the Raiders, the most-lopsided victory in the rivalry’s history.

“It’s such a tragic situation for him,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “As a brotherhood and as an organization and as a team, we’re going to go support our brothers. Our guys played hard for him today. We got the win, but I’m just praying for him and his family. It’s a tough deal, and we want him to be in a good spot as a person before anything on the football field.”

The defense echoed Mahomes’ notion that it wanted to put together an inspired performance to honor Sneed.

“He’s on our mind a lot, obviously,” Mathieu said. “Anytime somebody loses somebody that is close to them, most of us can relate to that. We just wanted to play for him today, for his family, and I felt like we did that. I felt like we started the game with some L’Jarius energy and kind of kept it going throughout the game.”

The defense forced five turnovers, allowed only 290 yards and racked up 11 hits on the quarterback, including four sacks.

It was the latest in a string of dominant performances for a defense that hasn’t allowed more than 10 points in any half since Week 7 at Tennessee, a span of 13 halves.

Kansas City hasn’t allowed more than 17 points in any game during its current six-game winning streak.

But this one was for Sneed.

“He was on everybody’s mind,” said cornerback Mike Hughes, who started at corner with Sneed out. “Before the game, we said that we were going to play for him. We’ve always got our brothers' backs no matter what’s going on. He’s dealing with a tough situation right now ... so it felt good to go out there and get that ‘dub’ for him.”