Andy Reid: COVID adjustments helped Chiefs prepare for short-week 'curveballs' ahead of Saturday finale

When the NFL moved to an 18-week season, it came with an added twist in the form of two season-finale Saturday games.

The league office didn’t notify the clubs of the Saturday matchups until Sunday night. Ultimately the NFL selected the Kansas City Chiefs-Denver Broncos matchup and the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles bout to lead off the week.

Having one fewer day to prepare could be met with complaints from the four clubs, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid noted that the recent schedule juggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic has made the team adept at adjusting on the fly.

“I guess COVID has helped us in that area, being able to hang in the box and swing at curveballs and not bail out,” Reid said when asked if he liked the Saturday format in the final week. “So, we’re a little bit used to the sudden change. It just affects a lot of people — I’m talking about from (team president) Mark Donovan on down to all of us. Everybody’s got to move things around and organize, and we’re lucky to have a good organization with guys who like to work — you know, (general manager) Brett Veach and so on. All the heads of their department really bust their tail to make sure it goes smooth. As a head coach, I appreciate that.”

The Chiefs need a victory over the Broncos to keep hope alive for the No. 1 seed.

The first Saturday game of Week 18 kicks off in Denver at 4:30 p.m. ET (2:30 local) on ESPN/ABC. Following the Chiefs-Broncos bout, the Cowboys-Eagles game is slated to start at 8:15 p.m. ET in Philly, also on ESPN/ABC.

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