If the Kansas City Chiefs are to earn a return journey to the Tremendous Bowl, they’re going to should do it shorthanded.
On Friday, the Chiefs formally dominated out All-Professional left guard Joe Thuney for Sunday’s AFC Championship Sport towards the Baltimore Ravens. Initially listed as questionable after leaving the divisional-round victory over the Buffalo Payments final week with a pectoral pressure, Thuney didn’t observe this week.
Veteran backup Nick Allegretti will possible slide in to fill the numerous void. The 27-year-old has began 13 video games over 5 seasons, together with one this 12 months and three in 2022.
Thuney had been extremely dependable, lacking solely two regular-season begins in eight seasons. He made all 17 begins alongside the Chiefs offensive line in 2023, incomes his second consecutive Professional Bowl nod and first profession All-Professional honor.
The Ravens’ top-ranked protection was already going to be a stiff problem for the Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Nevertheless, the unit’s spectacular crop of pass-rushers, together with Justin Madubuike, Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy, now have a weak spot to focus on.
On prime of the issues it creates in stopping the Ravens, Thuney’s absence could pressure an adjustment to the Chiefs’ plan of assault.
Mahomes remains to be the driving pressure, however the days of leaning on him alone are seemingly gone. With that in thoughts, some, together with longtime analyst Greg Cosell, believed they’d lean on the bottom recreation and Isiah Pacheco greater than anticipated towards the Ravens, who had been sixth towards the run throughout the common season.
Thuney’s standing alone places that technique in jeopardy, however the Chiefs even have an eye fixed on Pacheco’s standing for Sunday’s recreation. After speeding for 97 yards and a landing off 15 carries towards the Payments, he is questionable (ankle/toe) for the AFC title recreation, however he did observe on Friday.
Indicators level to Pacheco being able to go by Sunday, however he will not be one hundred pc, including one other intriguing layer to what must be an epic showdown with the Ravens.