Chiefs ready to rest up during playoff bye week

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Winning the AFC West comes with many rewards for the Kansas City Chiefs, but perhaps the biggest prize is the opportunity for coach Andy Reid to give his team a well-earned week of rest to provide rest for the weary and allow nagging injuries to heal.

Coach Andy Reid and co-offensive coordinator Matt Nagy speak with an official during the Chiefs 27-21 win over the New Orleans Saints. Sunday October 23, 2016 in Kansas City, MO (Nick Tre. Smith/Special to The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Coach Andy Reid and co-offensive coordinator Matt Nagy speak with an official during the Chiefs 27-21 win over the New Orleans Saints. Sunday October 23, 2016 in Kansas City, MO (Nick Tre. Smith/Special to The Topeka Capital-Journal)

“Everybody should be back for the next time we play,” Reid said.

The head coach expects a full roster ready on Jan. 15 when the team hosts a divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium.That includes linebacker Justin Houston and running back Spencer Ware, both of whom sat out Sunday’s season finale. It also covers safety Eric Berry, who left the game early with a tight Achilles.

Reid carries a record of 3-0 as a head coach in the divisional round coming off a bye week.

“It’s normally a good thing to have if you handle it the right way,” Reid said. “The players, I have enough trust in them that they’re going to handle it right the way. The coaches, they’re going to handle it the right way.”

After a team meeting on Monday, Reid plans to dismiss the team for a week off. Players return for  a short practice next Monday, followed by a normal off day Tuesday. The Sunday kickoff for the divisional playoff allows the team a regular work week similar to the regular season.

“The coaches are working a few days, then we’ll give them a couple of days off,” Reid said.

The Chiefs don’t know their opponent for the divisional round, but know it will come from a pool of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans or Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs played all three teams in the regular season, falling to the Pittsburgh and Houston on the road and sweeping the season series with Oakland.

Reid said Tommy Brasher, the team’s special projects coach, has been working on scouting and analyzing potential playoff opponents during the past week.

“He started these breakdowns a week ago and he’s been grinding stuff out,” Reid said. “It just happens that for the teams we have a chance to play, he’s already got that done. That’s a good foundation to start on and go.”

The only apparent significant injury emerging from the 37-27 win over San Diego belong to linebacker Dadi Nicolas. The rookie undergoes an MRI today to confirm an initial diagnosis of a ruptured patellar tendon. Nicolas will likely be placed on injured reserve before the team returns to practice next week.

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.


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