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Starters and key reserves don't play for Chiefs in win over Packers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs went exclusively with backup players in Thursday night's final preseason game, a 17-7 win over the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium.

QB depth chart: With Alex Smith and Nick Foles not playing, Tyler Bray started. He wasn't sharp early, when he missed a couple of open receivers. He quickly got in a rhythm and finished by completing his final seven passes and leading the Chiefs on a pair of touchdown drives. He was replaced by Aaron Murray, who threw two interceptions in the third quarter and may have erased any doubts the Chiefs might have had about releasing him.

Maybe that player could start: With Justin Houston out and Tamba Hali working his way back into the lineup, the Chiefs are looking for edge pass-rushers. Rookie Dadi Nicolas, a sixth-round draft pick, showed a great burst off the line and got a 12-yard sack after cleanly beating the offensive tackle. Nicolas had a second sack in the second half. Nicolas is more of a developmental prospect but has some tools and could eventually become a productive player.

Who got hurt? The Chiefs appeared to come through the game without any significant injuries.

A surprise player who impressed: De'Anthony Thomas made a final attempt to convince the Chiefs he belongs on the regular-season roster. He had four catches for 45 yards and went up high to snag a 22-yard catch in the second quarter to set up the Chiefs' first touchdown.

One reason to be concerned: The Chiefs concluded the preseason without getting so much as a single snap from four key players: linebackers Houston and Hali, safety Eric Berry and running back Jamaal Charles. Houston won't play when the regular season opens, but the other three might. How effective they'll be, with little practice and no game snaps, is another matter.

Plenty of defensive back cuts coming: The Chiefs took 16 defensive backs into the game against the Packers and are unlikely to keep more than 11. They drafted three in the secondary this year and will keep all of them. They recently traded for Kenneth Acker, who struggled in his Chiefs debut on Thursday, but he will make it to the regular season as well. As a result, a couple of guys who have started for the Chiefs in the past, Marcus Cooper and Jamell Fleming, look to be in jeopardy.

Costly fumble for Reaves: Darrin Reaves was making a push to be the fourth running back, if the Chiefs keep one behind Charles, Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West. But he fumbled in the fourth quarter with the Chiefs trying to protect a 10-point lead, and the Packers recovered.