Chiefs to start rookie QB against Broncos on Sunday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — First-round draft pick Patrick Mahomes II will make his NFL debut at quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs when they play an otherwise meaningless game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that the former Texas Tech star would start in Denver.

The Chiefs locked up the AFC West with a 29-13 victory over the Dolphins last weekend, and cannot improve their playoff positioning against the Broncos.

So, it makes sense for starting quarterback Alex Smith and many of the other regulars to get a week off before the playoffs.

Reid declined to say who else might sit out, but he did say there will be enough starters around his young quarterback to ensure Mahomes gets a fair chance to succeed.

On Tuesday, the Broncos announced they plan to start former first-round pick Paxton Lynch at quarterback for the final game of the season.

“The plan is to play Paxton,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said Tuesday. “That was kind of the plan last week, if he was healthy enough to play. So this week that’s the plan: to play Paxton.”

Lynch started for the Broncos against the Oakland Raiders in November. After playing for three quarters and failing to find the end zone, Lynch suffered an ankle injury and left that game.

Joseph has made it clear he wants to see Lynch play more before the season ends. Injuries have limited his playing time this season. Lynch also suffered a sprained shoulder in the third preseason game.