The Kansas City Chiefs have rolled through the 2020 season, looking every bit the part of a defending Super Bowl champion. The Chiefs have mowed through the first half of the year with relative ease. However, things have taken a rough turn as their defense just suffered a massive blow ahead of Week 9 action due to COVID-19.
Chiefs’ strong start to the 2020 season
The Kansas City Chiefs entered the 2020 season with many high expectations after earning their first Super Bowl win in five decades.
The Chiefs have more than answered the bell by cruising to a 7-1 record through their first eight games. Their smooth path has seen them grab five double-digit wins while their offense has tallied more than 30 points on five occasions. Kansas City has also recorded strong wins over the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, and New England Patriots.
Patrick Mahomes leads the charge offensive behind another MVP-caliber campaign as he’s second with 2,315 passing yards, 21 touchdown passes, and a 115.0 passer rating. Mahomes is projected to record 4,630 passing yards with 42 touchdown passes to two interceptions.
Kansas City has played like a defending Super Bowl champion but has been dealt another tough blow ahead of their Week 9 matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
Chris Jones placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List
The Kansas City Chiefs have rolled through the first half of the 2020 season, sitting near the top of the AFC.
However, the team has suffered a tough blow ahead of Week 9 action as the franchise put star defensive tackle Chris Jones on the reserve/COVID-19 list, according to Field Yates of ESPN.
Mike Garofolo of The NFL Network has quickly clarified that the move occurred not due to a positive COVID-19 test. Instead, it’s because of being in close contact with someone with the virus.
Nonetheless, the Chiefs are hit with a significant loss to their defense as Jones has been the anchor on their defensive line. His strong play helped him earn a lucrative four-year, $85 million extension over the offseason, cementing his long-term future with the organization.
Through seven games played, Jones has tallied 4.5 sacks with 22 combined tackles, 12 quarterback hits, and two forced fumbles. Jones’ absence leaves a considerable void in the middle of their defensive line. The Chiefs will need defensive end Frank Clark to be a bigger factor as a pass rusher beyond his 3.0 sacks through the first eight contests this season.
There should be more clarity on this front as Jones could miss possibly more than Week 9, depending on the parameters of the situation.
Kansas City will continue to chug forward
The Kansas City Chiefs will move forward this week without the services of one of their defensive stars.
Chris Jones’ absence puts more pressure on the rest of the unit to pick up the slack in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers. The defensive assignment just became a bit more complicated with star running back Christian McCaffrey expected to make his long-awaited return.
The Chiefs hold one of the top defensive units this season, currently tied for third allowing 19.0 points per contest, third against the pass (201.3), and 10th in total defense. They have picked it up defensively in the last few weeks, giving up fewer than 20 points four times in the previous five games.
Kansas City shouldn’t have much difficulty getting past Carolina, but the task has become that much more challenging without their best defensive lineman available.