The hidden tension between Juan Thornhill and the KC Chiefs

For the last several days, Chiefs Kingdom has been collectively scratching our heads around all things related to Juan Thornhill. In some ways, it could even go back to last season, although then we just said “injury recovery” and went back to our work. However at this point, it’s clear that those of us outside of Arrowhead Stadium are not privy to a hidden tension between Thornhill and the K.C. Chiefs.

It’s always an odd thing when a team decides to play someone who is clearly a lesser talent than someone behind him. On occasion, the scenario makes sense (a la Patrick Mahomes learning the ropes of the NFL behind Alex Smith). At other points, it can be a power struggle of some kind, a head coach determined to not let a rookie play. There was a year, remember, when Todd Haley wouldn’t let Derrick Johnson start for the Chiefs defense.

But this time around, there’s something disproportional between Thornhill’s playing time and his talent. We all watched Dan Sorensen play 100 percent of the defensive snaps in Week 2 in a losing effort to the Baltimore Ravens. Meanwhile, no single defender played less snaps—at least of those who played at all on defense—than Thornhill.

There’s something disproportional about the way the Chiefs are using Juan Thornhill.

Here’s the rub there in that playing time discrepancy: even a casual fan would be able to watch a game and tell that…

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