KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The dilemma that faces Chiefs coach Andy Reid this week is not an unfamiliar one. In fact, several times during his 14-year tenure in Philadelphia he faced a similar situation.
Play his starters or sit them? Rest or let them roll?
Kansas City is assured of the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs, which means it will head on the road for a wild-card game in two weeks. That also means the Chiefs are playing a game Sunday at San Diego that is virtually meaningless for them, at least in terms of seeding and matchups.
If history is any indication, get ready to see Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles spend a whole lot of time on the sideline. Same with the Chiefs' other key players.
"If you look at the history of it, it's about a 50-50 shot over the last three or four years of people who have done it," Reid said Monday. "It's what you're most comfortable with as a coach.
"The obvious benefit is you rest your guys," Reid explained. "You kind of get back a little fresher than what they were at the end of the season. You take a risk of the timing part of it. So those are the things that you have to evaluate."
While the game doesn't matter much for Kansas City, it means a lot for the Chargers. San Diego can still slip into the playoffs with a victory and losses by the Dolphins and Ravens.
"The Chargers won't play like it's an exhibition game," Chiefs offensive guard Geoff Schwartz said. "I promise you we'll be ready to play."
With whoever might be on the field in San Diego.
"Man, I don't have nothing to do with it," Charles said when asked whether he wants to play or rest. "We still want to win. We've got one more game to play before the playoffs."
Another factor for Reid to consider is players who've been injured.
While it's unlikely that linebacker Tamba Hali will play after he experienced swelling in his knee in a 23-7 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday, two other players — left tackle Branden Albert and linebacker Justin Houston — could be ready to go for the first time in weeks.
Might it be a good idea to get them into the game to knock off some rust?