AFC championship finals: Kansas City Chiefs roster, starters by position
The Chiefs have made a change to their roster, otherwise they remain unchanged going into Sunday’s AFC championship final against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs contest the AFC championship final at Arrowhead Stadium this afternoon with a place at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles at stake. Awaiting the winners at SoFi stadium next week will be the winners of the NFC final between the Los Angeles Rams or the San Francisco 49ers later today. The Chiefs have elevated third-year wide receiver Daurice Fountain from the practice squad to their 53-man roster via standard elevation. Safety Tyrann Mathieu spent most of last week in concussion protocol but returned to training on Thursday. His status remains questionable - like RB Darrel Williams who has been nursing a sore toe. Andy Reid says he expects both players to be cleared to play and otherwise, his team remains unchanged.
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Two of the NFL's top seven passing offenses will take to the field in Kansas City. They most recently met in Week 17 of the regular season - on that occasion it was the Bengals who came out on top thanks to Evan McPherson's last ditch 20-yard field goal. In total, the two teams have met 30 times with the Bengals leading the series 16-14-0. The Chiefs will be attempting to reach the Super Bowl for the third year running.
Chiefs roster: it's just about Mahomes
Much of the spotlight will fall on Patrick Mahomes this afternoon. The Chiefs QB is 4-1, including playoffs, against the teams that have beaten him in the same season. In addition, he leads his team in throwing yards and rushing yards with 378 and 69, respectively, in the Divisional Round against the Buffalo Bills. Understandably, all eyes will be on Mahomes but Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill have been equally as important.
Travis Kelce was instrumental in the Chiefs advancing to the AFC Championship Game by catching eight of nine passes thrown his way for 96 yards in the Divisional Round. The tight end only rushed for 25 yards and one touchdown after catching five passes in the regular-season game; he will be aiming to build on his performance and figures against the Bills.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is in his sixth year with the Chiefs. He owns 58 career total touchdowns (47 receiving, six rushing, four punt return and one kick return), and is tied for the sixth-most total touchdowns in Chiefs history with RB Abner Haynes. Hill is also the fastest player in Chiefs history to record 4,000 receiving yards
Chiefs' projected starters for AFC Championship Game
|Offensive positions||Defensive positions||Special teams|
|QB||Patrick Mahomes||LDE||Chris Jones||K||Harrison Butker|
|RB||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||LDT||Jarran Reed||P||Tommy Townsend|
|WR||Tyreek Hill||RDT||Derrick Nnadi||PR||Mike Hughes|
|FB||Michael Burton||RDE||Nick Bosa||KR||Byron Pringle|
|TE||Travis Kelce||SLB||Willie Gay Jr.||LS||James Winchester|
|LT||Orlando Brown||MLB||Anthony Hitchens|
|LG||Joe Thuney||WLB||Nick Bolton|
|C||Creed Humphrey||RCB||L'Jarius Sneed|
|RG||Trey Smith||LCB||Charvarius Ward|
|RT||Andrew Wylie||SS||Tyrann Mathieu|
For the Chiefs to keep Cincinnati's running game contained, Reid will be relying on linebacker Nick Bolton. The rookie, who has impressed in his first season in NFL, had eight tackles, including one for loss, in the matchup against the Bills. He was a second round pick in the 2021 draft.