NFL Notebook: Chiefs continue to roll with furious rally against Chargers
A thriller between two contending teams in the AFC West kicked off this week of National Football League action, one that’s brought with it plenty of uncertainty. We’ll get to all of the COVID-19 stories in a bit, but the Chiefs/Chargers overtime slugfest from Thursday night takes top billing in this week’s NFL Notebook.
Kansas City Rallies, Gets Overtime Win
Down 21-13 in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs rallied to tie the game at 21 before Justin Herbert engineered a go-ahead drive to put Los Angeles up by seven. However, 2:19 proved to be plenty of time for Patrick Mahomes, who led Kansas City down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce that sent the game to overtime. Mahomes and Kelce would hook up again just a minute into the extra period, and Kelce’s 34-yard catch-and-run sent the Charger faithful home unhappy.
MAHOMES ➡️ KELCE‼️— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 17, 2021
Chiefs win it in OT!
Okay, Let’s Talk About COVID
Strap in, because this stuff is pretty overwhelming. Going through every story would be enough to fill my word-count quota, so I’ll just hit the key points.
- Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum are both in the COVID-19 protocol, which could leave the Cleveland Browns without their top two quarterbacks this weekend against the Las Vegas Raiders
- The Los Angeles Rams have 25 players in the protocol after linebacker Von Miller was added to the list Thursday afternoon
- Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett has been sidelined by the virus and may not play this weekend
In response to the growing list of players in the protocol, the NFL relaxed its own policies Thursday, and made moves that will make it easier for vaccinated and asymptomatic players to return to the field.
NFL statement on new COVID-19 protocols…. pic.twitter.com/QZLyNm0RMi— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 16, 2021
Whether or not this will alleviate rosters stretched thin by the virus is unclear, but with so many players dealing with a pandemic that’s far from over, it’s clear something had to be done.
And speaking of something having to be done...
Urban Meyer Out in Jacksonville
There’s nothing quite like a midnight news dump, and that’s what we got earlier this week when Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced the dismissal of head coach and general manager Urban Meyer.
Jaguars fire HC Urban Meyer. (via @rapsheet) pic.twitter.com/7TvONPwkpg— NFL (@NFL) December 16, 2021
It’s been a rough season for Jacksonville in many ways. At 2-11, the Jags have one of the worst records in the league, and Meyer’s clashes with players and assistant coaches became frequent as the losses mounted. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has been named the interim head coach, and he’ll lead the team starting Sunday at home against the Houston Texans (who are, coincidentally, also 2-11 this year).