KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Six Chiefs starters did not practice again Thursday ahead of a relatively meaningless season finale Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Kansas City has already clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC, a privilege that includes the only first-round bye in an expanded seven-team playoff field from each conference.
Coach Andy Reid, who has led the Chiefs to a record five straight AFC West division titles, announced earlier in the week that Chad Henne would start at quarterback in place of Patrick Mahomes.
Running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) and Le’Veon Bell (knee), wide receivers Tyreek Hill (hamstring) and Sammy Watkins (calf), right tackle Mike Remmers (back) and linebacker Ben Niemann (hamstring) sat out practice for the second consecutive day.
It’s unlikely those six players would go on Sunday without practicing Friday in some capacity, but Reid already indicated he plans to sit several other starters against the Chargers.
Edwards-Helaire missed the win against the Atlanta Falcons after being injured late in a victory at New Orleans the previous week.
Kansas City won’t play again until the AFC Divisional round on Jan. 16-17, 2021.
Defensive end Frank Clark (illness) and defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi (knee) were new additions to the Chiefs’ injury report Thursday. Both were limited participants and are candidates to rest Sunday anyway.
Linebacker Damien Wilson (knee), who missed the Falcons game along with fellow starting linebacker Anthony Hitchens, has been a limited participant at practice the last two days, while cornerback Charvarius Ward (hamstring) and defensive tackle Mike Pennel (back) have been full participants.
The Chargers also will have a depleted team for the 3:25 p.m. kickoff Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Wide receiver Keenan Allen landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and has been ruled out for Week 17, according to ESPN NFL reporter Field Yates.
The Chargers have placed WR Keenan Allen on the COVID-19 list. He’s officially out for Week 17.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 31, 2020
Allen had already missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with a hamstring injury. Seven other players for Los Angeles also have yet to practice this week — safeties Jahleel Addae (calf) and Rayshawn Jenkins (ankle), defensive end Joey Bosa (shin/concussion), tackles Bryan Bulaga (foot) and Sam Tevi (knee), cornerback Casey Heyward Jr. (hamstring) and linebacker Malik Jefferson (shoulder).