Nine Chiefs players — five on offense and four on defense — were on the field for either every offensive snap or every defensive snap of Sunday’s overtime win against the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium.
Offensively, that group included four offensive lineman with tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, center Mitch Morse and guard Andrew Wylie each having remained on the field for all 86 snaps along with quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Defensively, the starting defensive backfield made up the iron man contingent. Safeties Ron Parker and Dan Sorensen as well as cornerbacks Steven Nelson and Kendall Fuller stayed on the field for all 71 defensive snaps.
Unlike most of the season when the team has a full week — or more, if playing on Monday night — to get ready for the next game, the Chiefs had to transition quickly into game prep for the AFC West division rival Los Angeles Chargers, who visit Arrowhead for a 7:20 Thursday night game. That makes for a long couple of days at the office for players on Monday and Tuesday.
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“Today you’re here from about 9 to 9, just trying to make sure you get two days worth of film and game planning in,” Mahomes said at the Chiefs facility Monday afternoon. “Then it’s kind of the same thing tomorrow. You want to make sure you’re just as prepared as you would be on a Sunday game.”
Allen steps in: Offensive lineman Jeff Allen rejoined the team on Oct. 16, after Mitch Morse went into concussion protocol. Allen, who spent four previous seasons with the Chiefs, signed a four-year deal with the Houston Texans worth $28 million ($12 million guaranteed) following the 2015 season. After being limited to 12 games with the Texans because of injury in 2017, he reached an injury settlement and was released by the Texans in July.
Since being back with the Chiefs, he’d appeared in six games prior to Sunday. He’d made one start against the Browns because the offense used a formation with an extra lineman lined up at tight end. He played just four offensive snaps in that game. He hadn’t played more than four offensive snaps in any game this season and not more than 10 total snaps, including special teams.
Allen played 58 snaps against the Ravens after Cam Erving left the game because of a knee injury.
“I thought he moved around good,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Allen. “There was one stunt that got he and Eric Fisher on it. That’s just from working together. I think they could be on the same page a little bit better there. Other than that, I thought he stepped in and did a pretty good job for us.”
Flashback feeling: You read correctly that Parker and Sorensen formed the starting safety tandem on Sunday. Sorensen started for the first time since coming off injured reserve, though he’d played in each of the previous three games heading into the Ravens game. He’d played primarily as an extra defensive back/linebacker on passing downs against the Cardinals, Rams and Raiders.
Sorensen was the projected starter at safety going into training camp, but his leg injury prompted the team to re-sign Parker, who’d been cut and signed with Atlanta in the offseason, as a free agent at the end of the preseason. Parker and Sorensen started at the safety spots last season after Eric Berry went down in the season opener.
Hill hobbled: Wide receiver Tyreek Hill came out of Sunday’s game because of two separate injuries. He came to the sideline and saw the training staff in the first half for a hand injury, and he also went to the locker room just before halftime for a heel injury.
He returned to the field in the second half and played 76 percent (65 snaps) of the offensive plays. His presence proved crucial to the Chiefs winning the game.
The only games this season when he’s played a smaller percentage of the offensive snaps were against the Cincinnati Bengals (74 percent, 52 snaps) and the season opener against the Chargers (71 percent, 40 snaps). He came out of the Chargers game to be evaluated after hitting his head, and he sustained a groin injury in the Bengals game.
Hamilton hits the field: Defensive lineman Justin Hamilton played in his first game this season Sunday, his second as a member of the Chiefs. The Chiefs released defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins earlier in the week to make room on the roster to sign Kelvin Benjamin. That move also paved the way for Hamilton to be activated on game day. He played 13 defensive plays, and Justin Houston credited Hamilton for having lit a fire under him on the sideline late in the game.