Chad Henne will make his first start in the NFL since 2014 when the quarterback takes the field for Kansas City against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers Sunday at 4:25 p.m., Chiefs coach Andy Reid announced Wednesday
The Wilson grad will fill in for Patrick Mahomes, who will be among the many Chiefs starters who will not play with the team having already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.
“It’s been awhile.” the 35-year-old Henne said Tuesday in a press conference that was posted on the website of The Kansas City Star, www.kansascity.com. “It’s crazy to think my last game (as a starter) was 2014. I got all my games in when I was young and then I had like a five- or six-year span where I didn’t get any playing time or just like some playing just when we were up or down.
“I’m really excited. I’m excited about the group we’re going to have out there. It should be fun on Sunday.”
Henne’s last start was on Sept. 21, 2014, for the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 55-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
In the six seasons since, he has appeared in six games, completing 7-of-11 passes for 59 yards. He’s played in two games this season, going 5-for-6 for 30 yards and also running for a touchdown.
“He’s all-in,” Reid said. “He’s excited. It’s a great opportunity for him.”
The Chiefs (14-1) have a chance to match the 2011 Packers for the best regular season record by a defending Super Bowl champ with a win.
“It would be a great opportunity, not only for myself but for this team, this franchise,” Henne said. “They signed me this past year to come in for these opportunities, so we’d be ready. To give back to them like they’ve given back to me would be tremendous.”
Henne signed a two-year deal in March to remain in Kansas City as Mahomes’ backup. He had joined the Chiefs on a two-year, $6.7 million dollar deal before the 2018 season.
He spent most of 2019 on injured reserve after fracturing his ankle in the preseason. He was activated Nov. 2, but did not appear in any games as the Chiefs went on to win the Super Bowl. He was the team’s No. 3 quarterback behind Mahomes and Matt Moore, who was signed after Henne was injured.
Henne, a second-round pick by Miami in the 2008 draft, spent the first four seasons of his career with the Dolphins, then the next seven with the Jaguars.
He has completed 59.3% of his passes for 12,990 yards with 58 touchdowns and 63 interceptions in 70 career games, 53 of them starts.