The Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots are preparing for a big AFC showdown with major playoff implications today. And it turns out the Chiefs almost had to forfeit before the game even started…
According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, KC’s players and personnel arrived in Foxborough but the gear for roughly 35 players stayed on the plane, which then left for New Jersey. In other words, a huge chunk of the roster would be without pads, helmets, and other equipment necessary to play football.
Upon realizing this, the gear was rushed back to Boston in time for the 4:30 p.m. ET kickoff. How critical was it that it arrived in time? Per Schefter’s source, the Chiefs would have had to forfeit the game. The equipment was expected to get there between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m., and it appears the crisis has been averted.
…and the Chiefs' equipment has arrived.
No forfeit necessary.
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) December 8, 2019
Still, imagine the implications. Sure, the Patriots might still beat the Chiefs anyway, but to just lose a game at a time like this without the chance to play would be absurd. It would send ripple effects through the rest of the conference, especially for the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders, both of whom are trying to unseat their respective division leaders.
An automatic loss also would have stung the Chiefs in their push for good playoff seeding. There’s a big difference between 9-4 and 8-5. The Chiefs would almost certainly prefer to get to either record based on their actual play.