Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writers Randy Covitz and Terez Paylor

Panthers to play starters deep into the game against KC Chiefs

08/17/2014 3:53 PM

08/17/2014 6:24 PM

Chiefs coach Andy Reid has said he plans to play his starters, including quarterback Alex Smith for a half tonight against Carolina in the second game of the preseason.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera may play his starters a little longer than that.

Normally teams wait to play their starters into the second half of the third preseason game, and pull back in the fourth game. But the Panthers have a short week this week because they’ll play at New England on Friday night, and Rivera doesn’t want his starters to play too much on Friday on short rest.

So, the Panthers will take a third-week approach into the second game.

It’s doubtful Reid will deviate from his plan, so the Chiefs’ second-teamers could get some good experience against quarterback Cam Newton, who will be making his preseason debut Saturday night, and a rugged Panthers defense.

And don’t expect Reid to take exception with Rivera’s plans. They’re close friends, dating to 1999 when Reid, in his first year at Philadelphia, hired Rivera as his linebackers coach. Rivera spent five years on Reid’s staff.

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @randycovitz.

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