The Kansas City Chiefs went through their final full practice before taking on the San Francisco 49ers on the NFL’s biggest stage on Sunday.
The two teams will meet in Las Vegas in a rematch of the 2020 Super Bowl with each side looking to bring the celebrations to the United States’ party capital.
It’s been a long week of buildup for both teams and Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and co will now hope they have done all they can to lift the Lombardi Trophy this weekend as they completed their final training session before the big day. The reigning Super Bowl champions reportedly worked on red-zone, short-yardage and goal-line plays in a 66-minute session Friday.
The team will have a mock game Saturday then take a team photo and return to its hotel 30 minutes from Allegiant Stadium.
The Chiefs went through their final full practice before taking on the San Francisco 49ers
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes warms up during his team’s final session
Tight end Kelce high fives defensive tackle Mike Pennel Jr. as they wrap up their preparations Head coach Andy Reid said the team does not plan to change hotels Saturday night, as some teams have done to eliminate any final distractions.
‘We’ve gotten everything done that we needed to get done,’ Reid told NBC’s Peter King. ‘They’ve done good work. They’ve been focused in. I get to see it every day. That’s kind of their makeup, whether things are going good or not going good. ‘It starts with Pat [Mahomes] and [Travis] Kelce and Chris Jones and [cornerback L’Jarius] Sneed. The players have maximized what we’ve given them as coaches, and they’ve done a nice job out here.’
The Chiefs ruled out All-Pro left guard Joe Thuney for the Super Bowl against the Niners on Sunday because of a pectoral injury.
Wide receiver Rashee Rice and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, though, appear ready to go.
Rice was a full participant in practice Friday after he was stepped on near the end of the previous day’s workout, while Edwards-Helaire also put in a full practice after dealing with an illness earlier in the week.
The only player that the Chiefs listed as questionable on the final injury report was running back Jerick McKinnon, who remains on injured reserve after surgery in January for a core muscle injury. The Chiefs have until Saturday afternoon to add him onto the active roster for the Super Bowl, though Reid described his chances of playing as ‘slim’ earlier in the week.
Chiefs coach Reid insisted all week he wasn’t counting Thuney out, right through the end of a 66-minute workout Friday at the practice facility of the AFC West-rival Raiders. But given Thuney had not practiced since before he was hurt in the divisional round in Buffalo, it had become increasingly clear that Allegretti would get the start in his place.
The signal caller gets in his last passes before hitting the NFL’s biggest stage on Sunday
The Chiefs reportedly worked on red-zone, short-yardage and goal-line plays in 60 minutes
The longtime backup has done this before. Allegretti also started the Super Bowl against Tampa Bay in 2021 because of injuries.
‘Next-man-up mentality,’ Chiefs right guard Trey Smith said. ‘Nick is a consummate professional. He’ll be ready to go. He’s done a great job these past couple of weeks of preparation. Our coaches will have us prepared and Nick will do great.’
The Chiefs experienced a scare near the end of Thursday’s practice when Rice accidentally was stepped on and limped off the field. The rookie wide receiver has become one of Patrick Mahomes’ go-to targets, catching 20 passes for 223 yards and a score in three playoff games, while also helping to draw some of the attention away from tight end Travis Kelce.
Edwards-Helaire was inactive for last year’s Super Bowl despite proclaiming himself healthy following a high ankle sprain.
‘This is what you always work for since you were a child,’ said Edwards-Helaire, a former first-round pick who lost his job to Isiah Pacheco last season and will be a free agent after this season. ‘And it’s always a hard thing to get to, but obviously we’re able to do the things we needed to in order to get back.’
Meanwhile, the 49ers also went through their final training session as they look to get revenge over the Chiefs Sunday.
Brock Purdy and co are said to have done a 68-minute jog-through on Friday that emphasized red-zone work.
The 49ers are healthy headed into the game with no one on the active roster listed with an injury designation.
‘Guys have worked hard these two weeks,’ 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. ‘The guys who have been banged up, they´ve done everything possible to be healthy for this game. It´s our first time everyone is full and healthy. It´s the right game to have it that way.’
Backup defensive tackle Kalia Davis, who is currently on injured reserve but has practiced this week, was listed as questionable for San Francisco with an ankle injury. Davis is not expected to be activated on Saturday to play in the game.
Meanwhile, Chiefs star Kelce’s girlfriend Taylor Swift will be going through her own final run-through before the big game.
The pop star is set to perform the final show of her Eras Tour stop in Tokyo, Japan before being expected to jet back to Las Vegas to cheer on her boyfriend.
The 17-hour time difference between the Japanese capital and Sin City lends the singer a helping hand, meaning she should be able to make it in plenty of time.
Swift is due on stage for her last night in Tokyo at 8pm on Saturday February 10. That’s 3am on the same day in Las Vegas.
If her show lasts its usual three and a half hours, she should be leaving the stage around 11.30pm. That’s 6.30am in Las Vegas.
The last time she performed in Japan, in 2015, Swift brought Narita airport to a standstill as she was practically stampeded by fans.These days her security is an altogether tighter machine, with her cavalcade of cars usually securing a police escort to speed her from A to B.
It’s a 40-minute drive from the Tokyo Dome to Narita for mere mortals but Swift doesn’t need to worry about stop signs or traffic signals.
Similarly flying private means she doesn’t have to worry about pesky TSA security so, with the wind behind her, Swift could be boarding her jet around 1am local time, 8am Vegas time.
After a roughly 13-hour flight, Swift could touch down at Harry Reid International Airport, Las Vegas around 9pm Saturday February 10.