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Patrick Mahomes to start at QB for Chiefs vs. Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs fans will get a glimpse of the future on Sunday.

Coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes will start the team's regular-season finale versus the Denver Broncos.

With the Chiefs locked into the No. 4 seed after winning the AFC West, the first-round pick will take his first snaps since a dazzling preseason.

"It's not going to hurt him for sure. He will learn from it," Reid said of the rookie, via "Every snap that he gets is a valuable snap for him whenever he has that chance of getting in there."

Reid added that Mahomes would get the first-team snaps in practice this week with Alex Smith leading the scout team. The veteran coach added he'd use the final game of the 2017 season to rest key starters and get other younger players besides Mahomes reps.

Reid said he's not worried about the move to play Mahomes in the finale rankling Smith heading into the postseason.

"Fortunately we have a quarterback who understands it," Reid said of Smith, per the Kansas City Star. "He's having an MVP caliber year."

During the Chiefs' midseason floundering, many fans begged the coaching staff to burn Mahomes' red-shirt season and replace Smith under center, despite K.C. still leading the division. After the veteran quarterback found his magical deep ball with offensive coordinator Matt Nagy calling plays, most of the outcry died down, and the Chiefs won the AFC West for the second straight season.

During the preseason, Mahomes flashed the raw playmaking skills that prompted the Chiefs to trade up in the first round to nab the quarterback, despite Smith's presence on the roster. The rookie owns otherworldly arm talent, athleticism, escape ability, and a gunslinger mentality.

In a game that has no playoff implications, Wednesday's announcement brings a sparkle of excitement to the Sunday afternoon tilt in Denver. It's a chance for Chiefs fans to see their exhilarating future quarterback in action for the first time since August.

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