The Kansas City Chiefs offense was dealt a heavy blow when All-Pro left guard Joe Thuney sustained a pectoral injury during the team's AFC Divisional Round win over the Buffalo Bills.
Heading into the Super Bowl, there has been some mystery surrounding Thuney's injury. On Jan. 28, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Thuney has received "varying opinions" about his injury, with some experts believing the injury is a tear and others believing it's a strain.
Chiefs Joe Thuney provides update on his availability for Super Bowl against San Francisco
During Super Bowl Opening Night on Monday, Rapoport asked Thuney about his availability for the Super Bowl. "He told me it's still up in the air whether he can practice this week," Rapoport posted on X. "He'll know a bit later on."
Thuney also told Rapoport that he has "never quite been in this situation before."
The eight-year veteran guard has only missed two games in his career, but this one was significant enough to keep him from playing in the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens. Backup guard Nick Allegretti stepped into the role and helped the Chiefs survive against the Ravens, 17-10.
“Nick Allegretti stepped in for our Pro Bowl offensive guard Joe Thuney for the AFC Championship,” tight end Travis Kelce said. “Huge shoes to fill and stepped up like a champion.”
Allegretti, a seventh-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, has started 13 career games while primarily serving as a backup.
While he has filled in admirably, Thuney's availability in Super Bowl LVIII would be significant for Kansas City. This season, the Chiefs offense has turned to heavy personnel sets and relied on their ground game. Their first-team All-Pro guard has helped pave the way for Kansas City's ground attack, which averaged the eighth-best rushing yards per carry (4.8). Thuney also provides Super Bowl experience and leadership that could benefit the Chiefs. Despite only being in his eighth season, Thuney would be playing in his fifth Super Bowl. Among active players, Thuney has started 18 playoff games — among active players, only quarterback Aaron Rodgers (21) and Travis Kelce (21) have started more.