It’s no coincidence the one Kansas City Chiefs player who didn’t start in Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Rams but still led his position in snaps was quarterback Nick Foles, who joined his new team only earlier this month.
Here’s a look at the snap counts at quarterback and the other positions from Saturday night’s game and what they all mean:
Quarterbacks: Nick Foles 38, Alex Smith 28, Aaron Murray 17, Tyler Bray 0, Kevin Hogan 0. The emphasis has clearly moved from evaluating the younger quarterbacks to getting Foles ready to play in a game if he’s needed. Smith will play the majority of the snaps in the third preseason game next Saturday.
Running backs: Spencer Ware 42, Darrin Reaves 27, Knile Davis 18, Anthony Sherman 6, Trey Millard 1, Jamaal Charles 0, Charcandrick West 0. It’s interesting the Chiefs gave the most work to Ware, who will make the team. He might be the only one of their halfbacks to make the team, with the rehabbing Charles and West being the other sure things. Preseason is usually about keeping the runners who will make the team fresh for the regular season.
Wide receivers: Chris Conley 40, Jeremy Maclin 40, Albert Wilson 32, Tyreek Hill 20, De'Anthony Thomas 17, Demarcus Robinson 16, Frankie Hammond Jr. 15, Rod Streater 11, Mike Williams 9, Da'Ron Brown 8, Seantavius Jones 0, Mitch Mathews 0, Kashif Moore 0. Conley played more than Wilson, and he was certainly more productive. Both will play a lot during the season, but the Chiefs may be shifting their roles to feature the bigger Conley more.
Tight ends: Travis Kelce 42, James O'Shaughnessy 23, Ross Travis 23, Demetrius Harris 13, Brian Parker 12. Kelce’s preseason playing time should go up in next week’s game before falling to perhaps zero in the final exhibition contest.
Offensive line: Eric Fisher 46, Mitchell Schwartz 46, Mitch Morse 46, Parker Ehinger 46, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif 46, Zach Fulton 20, Zach Sterup 20, Jah Reid 20, Daniel Munyer 20, Jarrod Pughsley 19, Reid Fragel 18, Jordan Devey 17, Drew Nowak 17, Curtis Feigt 17, Garrick Mayweather 17. The Chiefs gave their third-string linemen almost as much work as the second-teamers.
Defensive line: Dontari Poe 23, Allen Bailey 19, Jaye Howard 18, Chris Jones 17, Jimmy Staten 17, Nick Williams 13, David King 13, Niko Davis 10, Rakeem Nunez-Roches 0. Nunez-Roches didn’t play because of back spasms, so the Chiefs passed his work on to some of their other backups.
Linebackers: Frank Zombo 26, Dee Ford 26, Dadi Nicolas 24, Derrick Johnson 22, Tyrell Adams 15, Ramik Wilson 15, Jonathan Massaquoi 13, Terrance Smith 12, Justin March 12, Andy Mulumba 12, D.J. Alexander 6, Tamba Hali 0, Justin Houston 0, Josh Mauga 0, Dezman Moses. The most striking numbers are the zeros for Hali, Houston and Mauga. The Chiefs played again without three of their starters.
Defensive backs: Eric Murray 35, D.J. White 32, Steven Nelson 27, Ron Parker 26, Marcus Cooper 25, Marcus Peters 25, Jared Johnson 19, Daniel Sorensen 18, Jamell Fleming 14, Stevie Brown 10, KeiVarae Russell 4, Shak Randolph 2, Eric Berry 0, Phillip Gaines 0, Deveron Carr 0, Brock Vereen 0, Malcolm Jackson 0, Bryce Cheek 0. Murray and White started in place of Sorensen and Nelson as the Chiefs got a long look at a couple of draft picks who could be part of the regular-season playing rotation. Russell’s playing time dwindled to almost nothing and Brown, a veteran safety, got surprisingly little work. Jackson, who gave up the Hail Mary touchdown pass at the end of the previous week’s game against Seattle, didn’t play on defense.