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Chiefs owner Hunt touts reduced preseason, 17-game schedule

Wed Nov 13 2:56pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Players: Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs football team owner Clark Hunt leaves the NFL Fall league meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The chairman of the Kansas City Chiefs believes the NFL must “seriously consider” reducing the preseason and expanding the regular season to 17 games, giving the league additional inventory that would allow for more games internationally.

Clark Hunt, the most visible face of the Chiefs ownership family, also said such ideas have been batted around since the last round of collective bargaining in 2011. But with another round of CBA talks heating up, Hunt believes the schedule will become a crucial issue.

“I think reducing the preseason is something everybody would be in favor of,” Hunt said during a wide-ranging availability Wednesday. “If you replaced a game, perhaps two, with one regular-season game it would give you an odd number of games with 17. One thought is you could play at least some of those games at a neutral site and obviously internationally would be one way to do that.”

Hunt has long been a proponent of expanding the NFL to new markets. The Chiefs beat the Lions at Wembley Stadium in London during the 2015 season, and they face the Chargers in Mexico City on Monday night - a do-over of sorts after their game there last year was moved because of field conditions.

Hunt said the new playing surface at Azteca Stadium has allayed any lingering concerns.

“I think all the international games are important to the league, and they are important to the Chiefs from a branding standpoint,” Hunt said. “Frankly, I did not think we’d be going to Mexico City so fast. It was not something I lobbied the league for. When I looked at our schedule, I didn’t think it would work out from a scheduling standpoint.

“I guess at the end of the day,” Hunt said, “the Chargers were willing to give up a home game to play down there, even though we’re a divisional team.”

In other news, Hunt said the Chiefs hope to sign MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes to an extension that keeps him in Kansas City his entire career. But he declined to say whether that will happen after this season, when Mahomes becomes eligible to sign a deal, or after the following year.

“That’s a decision we will have to make with his representatives, if this is the right time,” said Hunt, who also declined to say whether Mahomes could become the NFL’s highest-paid player.

Hunt did acknowledge feeling a sense of disbelief when Mahomes dislocated his kneecap on a sneak against Denver earlier this season. The freak injury caused him to miss two games, though Mahomes came back to throw for 446 yards in last week’s last-second loss in Tennessee.

“I was concerned he was lost for the season,” Hunt said, “and perhaps beyond that.”

Among other topics Hunt discussed Wednesday:

PASS INTERFERENCE

Like most NFL fans, Hunt has mixed feelings about the rule changes this year allowing for pass interference penalties to be challenged. He also thinks it’s an issue that will be revisited by the competition committee and that changes are likely for next season.

“I definitely think it’s a learning experience for everyone involved,” Hunt said. “I’ve seen the statistics that show the very few times coaches are being successful in their challenges, particularly after we got past the first two games of the season.”

FEELING A DRAFT

The NFL awarded the 2023 draft to Kansas City, and Hunt predicted it could be “the biggest event ever” to take place in the city. He said most of the work on the draft will begin after this season, though the franchise is in constant communication with civic leaders.

PAYING BIG FOR HILL

Tyreek Hill spent the offseason banished from the team amid allegations of domestic abuse - he was ultimately cleared by the league and prosecutors. And when that happened, the Chiefs wasted little time in giving their star wide receiver a $54 million, three-year extension.

The deal, though, includes plenty of safeguards for the organization.

“We obviously had some level of comfort with the information we received,” Hunt said. “We looked at the season and thought it was important to get Tyreek done early in the year. We were able to reach an agreement with his representatives that rewards Tyreek for the level of play we’ve seen out of him the past three-plus years but also protects the organization.”

ALSO JONESING FOR A DEAL

The Chiefs also have been discussing a contract extension for Chris Jones, who has emerged as one of the NFL’s premier defensive tackles. Jones held out all offseason, hoping to pressure Kansas City into getting a deal done, but was left to play out the fourth year of his rookie contract.

“We’re very hopeful we can extend Chris’ contract and bring him back to Kansas City for many years to come,” Hunt said. “He’s obviously a fantastic player, great guy in the locker room, and we like what he brings to the Kansas City Chiefs.”

Player Notes
Emmanuel Sanders Dec 8 6:50pm ET

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders recorded 157 yards and a touchdown on seven catches in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints. He also threw a 35-yard touchdown pass. After battling a rib injury the past few weeks, Sanders looked fully healthy in Sundays shootout, leading the team in catches, targets and yards. His touchdown came on a 75-yard bomb in the second quarter when he smartly got up from the turf and raced to the house. His passing score came later in the quarter on a nifty trick play to running back Raheem Mostert. With the Niners clicking offensively, Sanders fantasy value appears supported despite the emergence of wideout Deebo Samuel and Mostert. Hell carry WR3 value in Week 15 against a weak Atlanta Falcons secondary.

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Kyle Allen Dec 8 6:50pm ET

Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen threw for 293 yards and a touchdown on 28-for-41 passing during the loss to the Falcons. He also had two interceptions and fumbled twice. After not throwing a pick in his first four games after taking over Cam Newton (foot), the 23-year-old now has 12 throughout his last seven games. Don't expect much from Allen moving ahead as the team enters survival mode to finish out the year.

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Davante Adams Dec 8 6:50pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams caught four of six targets for 41 yards in a 20-15 win over the Washington Redskins. It didn't help that quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for only 195 yards and one touchdown. Rodgers' poor performance and game script are likely why Adams saw a season-low six targets after compiling double-digit opportunities from Rodgers in four straight contests. Adams will look to be more involved in Week 15 against the stingy Chicago Bears.

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Tevin Coleman Dec 8 6:40pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman toted just three carries for six yards in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints. In a 48-46 thriller, Colemans second consecutive bust confirms that hes been sidelined for Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida. He was seen early in the game but not much afterwards. After accruing just 128 rush yards in his last six games, Coleman is impossible to start heading into Week 15 against the Atlanta Falcons.

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Vance McDonald Dec 8 6:40pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald (concussion) left Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals for further testing and is listed as questionable to return. The 29-year-old caught his only target for three yards in the game, which is a disappointing performance against the defense who has allowed 13 touchdowns to tight ends. It will be interesting to see if he passes protocol before next Sunday's game against the Bills, where he would likely be a non-fantasy factor.

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Auden Tate Dec 8 6:30pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate was forced to exit Sunday's loss to the Browns with an apparent knee injury. After recording his first and only catch of the game, the 22-year-old limped his way back to the locker room after initially being evaluated in the medical tent. Tate has been a semi-regular target for the team this year, logging 39 catches for 559 yards and a touchdown on 76 targets. While he wasn't a consistent source of production, he does have value in deeper leagues. Look for an update regarding his status for the Week 15 encounter with the Patriots, but if he is out, look for the recently-returned John Ross to serve as the primary beneficiary.

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Willie Snead Dec 8 6:20pm ET

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead was having a below-average performance in Week 14's matchup with the Buffalo Bills before reeling in a four-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. Snead caught 3-of-4 targets for a measly 13 yards but was quarterback Lamar Jackson's most impactful receiver in the game. If tight end Mark Andrews, who exited the game in the first quarter with a knee injury, is unable to go Thursday Night, Snead could see more involvement in the offense. Baltimore matches up against a Jets Defense in Week 15 that has been relatively vulnerable against opposing wide receivers in 2019.

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Tyler Eifert Dec 8 6:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert caught all four of his targets for 49 yards during the loss to Cleveland on Sunday. After failing to surpass 21 receiving yards in each of his last four outings, this was one of the most efficient performances from the veteran on the year. Nonetheless, this season has still been a major disappointment for 29-year-old, with not much expected to change moving forward, especially in Week 15 against a rough Patriots Defense.

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Mark Ingram Dec 8 6:10pm ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram rushed for 50 yards on 15 carries in Week 14's win over the Buffalo Bills. Ingram added 29 yards on three receptions as a pass-catcher. The veteran struggled to break free, averaging 3.3 yards per carry with his longest gain being just nine yards. With Lamar Jackson clogging up the run game for Baltimore, it will be hard to view Ingram as anything more than a low-end RB2 against the New York Jets in Week 15. Ingram will look to bounce back next week against a Jets Defense that's allowing just 63 yards per game to opposing running backs in 2019.

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Aaron Jones Dec 8 6:10pm ET

Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams picked up 24 rushing yards on seven carries and failed to register a reception on one target. Williams played second fiddle to Aaron Jones, who exploded for 192 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. It's entirely possible that Williams, who was a late addition to the injury report on Thursday, was battling through a sore knee in this one. Perhaps that would explain why he was out-touched 22-seven by Jones. Still, Williams was in for 42 percent of the snaps, indicating that he'll maintain his role in the offense going forward. Williams and the Pack will take on the stingy Chicago Bears in Week 15.

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John Ross Dec 8 6:10pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross had two catches for 28 yards during the loss to the Browns on Sunday. Ross made his return to the lineup for the first time since Week 4 after missing some time with a chest injury. The upside is there, but his outlook for the remainder of the season is less than favorable, especially in Week 15, against a problematic Patriots Defense. Nonetheless, he still has value in deeper formats for those who are looking for the 24-year-old to duplicate the success that he had through the first two weeks of the year.

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New York Jets Dec 8 6:00pm ET

The New York Jets Defense allowed plenty of yards to the Dolphins Sunday, but never let Miami in the end zone. The Dolphins scored all 21 of their points via the field goal and the Jets defense added an interception and two sacks for a mediocre fantasy day. Anyone using the Jets defense as a streamer may want to stop now ahead of a matchup vs MVP candidate Lamar Jackson and the high-flying Ravens in Baltimore on a short week.

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T.J. Yeldon Dec 8 6:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills running back T.J. Yeldon was inactive for the seventh straight game in Week 14 against the Ravens. The Bills are rolling along with Devin Singletary and Frank Gore as their lone rushers. Singletary had a big game in Week 14, gaining 89 yards on the ground and another 29 yards through the air. Gore has been a decent No. 2 behind Singletary, despite struggling in Week 14. Yeldon has no business on fantasy radars at this point.

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Hayden Hurst Dec 8 6:00pm ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst had his best performance of the season after Mark Andrews exited the game with a knee injury. Hurst caught all three of his targets for a season-high 73 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown in Baltimore's Week 14 win over the Buffalo Bills. If Andrews is unable to play Thursday Night, quarterback Lamar Jackson will likely heavily target tight ends Hurst and Nick Boyle. The Ravens face a Jets Defense in Week 15 that has held opposing tight ends to two touchdowns in 2019.

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Sam Ficken Dec 8 6:00pm ET

New York Jets kicker Sam Ficken made three field goals on three attempts including a game-winning 44-yarder as time expired. Ficken also hit from 42 and 37 yards out. It wasn't all good for Ficken who only went 1-for-2 on extra points but he made the big kick when it counts. Ficken has been good for the Jets but there are better kicking options on better offenses to use in fantasy, especially with the Jets brutal remaining schedule.

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Ty Montgomery Dec 8 5:50pm ET

New York Jets running back Ty Montgomery rushed nine times for 31 yards and made three catches for 30 yards in a win over the Dolphins Sunday. As expected, Montgomery took a backseat to Bilal Powell in the absence of starter Le'Veon Bell (illness). Powell (ankle) left the game late, however, and the status of both running backs is up in the air for a Thursday night game in Baltimore. The Jets will provide an update on Bell and Powell Monday but if either is out Montgomery should have a role Thursday, albeit in a tough matchup at Baltimore.

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Mark Andrews Dec 8 5:50pm ET

Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews exited the game in the first quarter with a knee injury. Andrews caught 1-of-3 targets for 14 yards before heading to the locker room in the Ravens Week 14 win over the Bills. According to ESPN Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley, Andrews' injury isn't considered serious and head coach John Harbaugh explained it could just be a bruise. Baltimore faces the Jets on Thursday Night in Week 15 and Andrews will likely be questionable going into the matchup.

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Tyler Boyd Dec 8 5:50pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd caught five of his six targets for 75 yards during the loss to Cleveland on Sunday. While he was still semi-productive from a fantasy standpoint, he was relegated to a lesser role by Joe Mixon, who had 23 carries for 146 yards and a touchdown. The 25-year-old had a touchdown in each of his last two games coming into Week 14 but failed to find the end zone in this one, and though he always has a shot to score, his outlook is less favorable than usual against a tough Patriots Defense in Week 15.

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Aaron Jones Dec 8 5:50pm ET

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones posted a season-high 134 rushing yards on 16 totes with a touchdown and caught six of seven targets for 58 receiving yards in a 20-15 win over the Washington Redskins. With game script on his side, Jones was fed the most touches since Week 8- and he responded by gashing the Redskins' run defense for 8.4 yards per carry. The 24-year-old was Green Bay's leading rusher and receiver. Jones also found his way back into the end zone for the first time since Week 10. Up next for the star running back is a Week 15 matchup with the stout Chicago Bears Defense.

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Buffalo Bills Dec 8 5:50pm ET

The Bills Defense did a decent job of containing a potent Ravens offense in Week 14. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for just 145 yards in the game, his third-lowest output on the season, and his 40 rushing yards in the game were the fewest he's managed since Week 1. Unfortunately for the Bills defense, the Ravens were able to put three touchdowns and a field goal on the board in their 24-17 victory. The Ravens' 24 points were the second-most any team has scored on the Bills this year. The Bills were able to come up with an interception in the game, but they had only one sack. The Bills defense should be able to bounce back strong against the Steelers in Week 15.

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