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Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to buck NFL trend, play exhibition opener

“I like to get in there and get hit like, on time,” said Patrick Mahomes, who has played the exhibition opener every season.Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes will start the Kansas City Chiefs’ exhibition opener in Chicago Saturday, bucking a trend across the NFL of coaches sitting their starting quarterbacks for the first of their three exhibition games.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Thursday he would stick to his usual routine of having each of the four quarterbacks in camp play for a quarter of the exhibition opener. And while he acknowledged the number of snaps could change based on the way the game is going, Reid thinks it’s important for everybody — stars and backups alike — to get onto the field.

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“I think it’s good to get the juices going, get yourself out there, even if it’s a limited amount of plays,” Reid said.

Mahomes talks to a teammate during a break in the action at Thursday's workout.Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The Raiders sat Derek Carr and the Jaguars played without Trevor Lawrence in last week's Hall of Fame Game, though that's typical given the game occurs a week earlier than the rest of the preseason openers. But plenty of teams are choosing to sit their starting quarterbacks this week, too, rather than risk an injury by subjecting them to unnecessary hits.

“I like to get in there and get hit like, on time,” said Mahomes, who has played the preseason opener every season but 2020, when there wasn’t any because of the pandemic. “Once you get hit one time, you see what it is. Then you’re good to go.”