The Kansas City Chiefs are currently 8-1 on the season, after taking their first loss in week five to the Las Vegas Raiders. Kansas City will have a chance to even the score with the Raiders this weekend on Sunday night football, after being on bye during week ten. However, the defending champions may be facing some adversity in the coming weeks.
On Monday, November 16, 2020, the Chiefs added three players to the Reserve/COVID-19 list. This means there is a possibility they could all miss Sunday night’s game against the Raiders and will for sure miss practice this week.
Chiefs will likely be without two starting offensive linemen and one backup lineman. Mitchell Schwartz, who has already been out since week six against the Bills, was a player that tested positive for the virus. Even though Mitchell was already out due to a back injury, he has been somewhat of an Ironman.
When Schwartz entered the league in 2012 with the Browns, he did not miss a start or snap in his career until last season in November. In the first five weeks of the crazy 2020 season, Mitchell played 100% of the offensive snaps. He has been a reliable player in the lineup and generally one of the game’s best linemen. Missing him for even longer will hurt this team even more. Schwartz’s replacement on the Chiefs’ official depth chart is listed as left guard Mike Remmers, which leads me to believe that Nick Allegretti would get the starting job for one of those two positions.
The other starting lineman that will be out due to COVID-19 is Eric Fisher, who plays left tackle. The 6’7″, 300-pound linemen has played every offensive snap so far this season. This will be detrimental to the team, as Fisher is also regarded as one of the best in the league at his job. The Chiefs also add backup Martinas Rankin to the COVID-19 list, leaving them with few options to replace their starters.
Who will step up
Nick Allegretti is a backup lineman that would likely replace one of the two starters. So far this year, his second in the league, Allegretti has played in nine games. In weeks seven and nine, he played 100% of the offensive snaps, so it’s not like he doesn’t know what he is doing.
Yasir Durant, a first-year rookie from the University of Missouri, will likely get some run in this upcoming game against the Raiders if the players on the list do not test negative within the next few days. Durant is a 6’6″, 331-pound linemen who is still very young and has a lot to learn. The 22-year-old has already played in six games this year and will likely add one more to that list come Sunday night.
How does this affect the Chiefs?
If these players do not play on Sunday, it will put their starting offensive line in a challenging position. This would force Remmers, usually a Left Guard to move to either the Left Tackle or Right Tackle spot. Nick Allegretti would then fill in the starting Left Guard spot. The Chiefs may need to bring some of the practice players from the offensive line up to the team. Players like Danny Isidora, Darryl Williams, and Bryan Witzmann could get some playing time this Sunday.
With Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz potentially out this Sunday, it puts a lot of pressure on Quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Fisher and Schwartz are two of the best Linemen in the league, and they also play on the outside. Maxx Crosby is one of the Raider’s best defensive players, racking up six sacks this season, including one against the Chiefs. This can significantly affect Kansas City, especially in their ability to pass protection and keep their star quarterback from getting hit.
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