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Wild, wild win in K.C. -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Jones didn't wait to impact Kansas State -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS soccer falls on road -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Tiger golfers finish 10th on home course -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

After big win, Tigers back to work -10/1/2014, 3:09 PM

Chiefs' Smith in a groove -10/1/2014, 10:23 AM

Late surge pushes Dodge past TMP -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Monarch XC sweeps titles at Lyons -10/1/2014, 10:22 AM

Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

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Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

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St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

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Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

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Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

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Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

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SPOTLIGHT
Chiefs' Daniel, other backups ready for chance

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Chiefs' Daniel, other backups ready for chance

Published on -12/27/2013, 9:50 AM

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By DAVE SKRETTA

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs are paying Chase Daniel more than $4 million in salary and bonuses this season, yet the backup quarterback has not taking a meaningful snap in a game.

There's an argument to be made that fact won't change Sunday, when the Chiefs head to San Diego to play a game that can't affect their playoff situation. Kansas City is already locked into the No. 5 seed and is merely waiting to find out who it will face the following weekend.

But there's also an argument to be made that every snap Daniel takes -- and it stands to reason there will be many -- is very important.

After winning their first nine games, the Chiefs have lost four of their last six. And any positive vibes that came with back-to-back wins over Washington and Oakland may have evaporated in a 23-7 rout last weekend by the Colts, a potential first-round playoff opponent.

So while most of the starters will likely sit out the majority of this one, it could be up to Daniel and a slew of backups to give Kansas City some momentum headed into the postseason.

"My mindset going in is to prepare like the starter, just as I have my entire career," Daniel said. "Hopefully, I'll get to play a little bit."

Chiefs coach Andy Reid has said only that he plans to "mix and match" his players Sunday, leading to some heated water-cooler discussions about who should be held out.

Jamaal Charles? Probably. There may be no more valuable player to the Chiefs, let alone any other team in the NFL.

Alex Smith? Possibly. He's coming off a miserable performance against the Colts, and said this week that there's some benefit to entering the postseason on a roll.

One player almost certain to get the weekend off is linebacker Tamba Hali, who missed practice again Thursday with swelling in his knee. Otherwise, all bets are off.

"If you play, the argument is yeah, you're staying in rhythm," Smith said. "You're keeping your timing, all that stuff. The speed of the game, you stay used to it. The negative, of course, is the injury risk. Not playing, the benefit is you're getting healthy and fresh. The downside is yeah, you're missing out on some rhythm and momentum heading into the playoffs."

That's where Daniel, running back Knile Davis and the rest of the backups come into play.

Daniel played earlier this season in mop-up duty against the Redskins and Raiders, and the results were forgettable. He was 4 of 8 for 48 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.

Davis had emerged as a solid No. 2 option behind Charles, but then started coughing up the ball against the Colts. He's had trouble with fumbles throughout his career, so San Diego could give him a chance to get that in check as the Chiefs' feature back.

Then there are the guys who haven't gotten much playing time, such as linebacker Nico Johnson, a fourth-round pick out of Alabama. This could be their first extended playing time since training camp -- in a game that matters, no less, depending on how you look at it.

"It gives us an opportunity to see these guys, and it gives them some confidence," Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. "If we can get them out there, get some plays in, it would be great. See what Andy wants to do with it, but I think that would be awesome."

No amount of prying this week could get the Chiefs to divulge their exact plans, especially with San Diego having something on the line. The Chargers can squeeze into the playoffs if they beat Kansas City and Baltimore and Miami lose earlier in the day.

Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson even declared Thursday that Smith is the starter, and that Daniel would be taking the same "mental reps" that come with being the regular backup.

"You go in and attack the game like any other," Pederson said. "We're professional and we attack it like professionals. We get our guys ready to go. We're excited obviously about being in the postseason and playing next week, but you can't look past San Diego."

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