Regular season finale could have ‘mix and match’ look

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It’s business as usual at the Chiefs training facility a day before the team is off for the Christmas holiday.

Still, a question from Monday surrounding resting players carried to Tuesday, so much that coach Andy Reid held an impromptu media session to address how he would handle the regular season finale.

Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel (10) hands the ball off to Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis (34) against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. The Chiefs won 45 - 10. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel (10) hands the ball off to Kansas City Chiefs running back Knile Davis (34) against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. The Chiefs won 45 – 10. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

“I’m going to have them practice just like we’re going to play the San Diego Chargers, which we are,” Reid said Tuesday. “At the same time, I’m going to work some guys in.”

Reid said most of the players have already been worked in, adding a final decision will come at the end of the week.

But he hinted some backups could see action with starters.

“I’ll figure out by the end of the week exactly how I’m going to work it, but they’re all going to practice,” Reid said. “They’re all going to do their thing.

“Every position is going to do their thing. Then, we’ll just kind of break it up and, you know, mix and match.”

[Related: Reid undecided on resting players]

Meanwhile, starting quarterback Alex Smith said he hasn’t been told if he’s sitting out Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers.

But his approach to weekly preparations will remain the same.

“No answers yet,” Smith said in the locker room. “Just prepare to play and we’ll see what happens game day.”

Wide receiver Dexter McCluster echoed Smith.

“This week is just like any other week,” McCluster said. “We’re all preparing to go out there and play a great game and beat that team that we’re facing. We’re going to take it day-by-day. We’re going to go out there and work and let the chips fall where they may with coach and let him have that last decision.”

While Smith and other starters could see limited to no action Sunday, the door is open for primary backups to have extended playing time or even start.

For his part, backup Chase Daniel said he’ll be ready if he gets the call.

Daniel told reporters in the locker room he typically runs “all scout team” plays during the week, but he approaches those repetitions as if he were practicing with the first unit.

“I try to make it as real as possible,” Daniel said. “I’m all out, 100 percent speed all the time and actually use those as my practice reps.”

Daniel said he reads the plays from the cards and runs it against the defense like he was facing them in a real situation, a method he picked up while with the New Orleans Saints.

“I sort of learned that from Drew (Brees), how to prepare like a starter back in New Orleans,” Daniel said. “It’s helped me so far.”

In the meantime, signs point to Chiefs backups seeing more than their share of practice repetitions in the coming days.

The Chiefs are locked in at the No. 5 seed for the playoffs and have nothing to play for.

And Reid isn’t likely to risk an injury to a key player in a final game that has a preseason feel to it before heading into the postseason.

Notes: Reid said outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) would not practice Tuesday … Reid said outside linebacker Justin Houston (elbow) and left tackle Branden Albert (knee) would put in a full practice … Houston hasn’t played since suffering his injury in Week 12 … Albert has been out since suffering his injury in Week 13 … The Chiefs are off on Christmas and return to practice Thursday.