The Chiefs’ Latest Injury Update Could Spell Trouble for Patrick Mahomes and Strike Another Devastating Blow to Kansas City’s Playoff Hopes

The 2021 season hasn’t gone how the Kansas City Chiefs planned through the first nine games. However, there’s still time to turn things around. It won’t be easy, though, as the injuries are starting to pile up. Patrick Mahomes hasn’t been elite so far, and his path to the playoffs just got even more difficult.

The Chiefs’ offensive line suffered another blow

The Kansas City Chiefs are banged up on the offensive line right now.

Offensive tackle Lucas Niang suffered a rib injury during the first quarter of Kansas City’s Week 9 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The 2020 third-round selection has started seven games in 2021. Despite his benching in Week 5, the TCU product has shown promise in his first year as a starter.

As if Niang’s injury wasn’t enough, Andy Reid’s squad received more devastating news. The Chiefs placed veteran offensive tackle Mike Remmers on injured reserve.

Remmers had been dealing with a lingering knee injury which kept him out of practice for the past week. Kansas City eventually decided to pull the plug. The 32-year-old will now miss multiple weeks.

With Niang and Remmers both out against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Chiefs will turn to less reliable options to protect Patrick Mahomes.

Patrick Mahomes needs to stay upright against the Raiders

Chiefs offensive lineman Mike Remmers helps up Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes lays on the ground while offensive tackle Mike Remmers assists him | Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders’ defense features one of the fiercest pass rushes in the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs will have their hands full trying to negate Maxx Crosby, Yannick Ngakoue, and the crew from getting after Patrick Mahomes.

So who will fill in for Lucas Niang and Mike Remmers?

According to The Athletic, Andrew Wylie will start at right tackle for Kansas City on Sunday Night Football.

The 27-year-old Eastern Michigan product played poorly in Super Bowl LV, but he’s also put together a couple of decent performances. Wylie played 52 snaps as a fill-in against the Packers. He allowed just two pressures.

Patrick Mahomes will need Wylie to have the best performance of his career against Las Vegas. Opposing defenses have sacked the Chiefs’ superstar 17 times in nine games.

For Mahomes to have an opportunity to make dazzling throws to Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, the offensive line must do its job. Inconsistent line play has been an issue for the Chiefs, one that needs to be corrected immediately.

Kansas City isn’t a guarantee to make the playoffs

Andy Reid’s Chiefs are currently sitting at 5-4, good for third place in the AFC West. Kansas City has dominated the division over the past several years. However, the reigning two-time defending AFC champions are in trouble.

Patrick Mahomes and the offense haven’t been nearly as dominant as they’d been in years past. While the talent is still there, opposing defenses have begun to pick up on certain tendencies. Mahomes has committed an alarming number of careless turnovers in 2021.

The former MVP has thrown ten interceptions and fumbles five times through the first nine contests. Mahomes’ struggles seem to correlate with the woes on the other side of the football.

The Chiefs’ defense has never been shutdown, but they were at least opportunistic in previous seasons. Steve Spagnuolo’s unit has been generous in giving out opportunities, though.

The Chiefs are ranked No. 27 in total defense, allowing 25.2 points and 381.4 yards per game. If the defense doesn’t step it up, Kansas City could be on the outside looking in.

The AFC is wide open right now, but the injury bug is hitting the Chiefs at the worst possible time.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

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