The NFL’s longest current iron man streak among offensive lineman might come to an end this weekend as the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to rest many of their starters in the season finale at the Denver Broncos.
Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz enters the game with two of the longest current active streaks among offensive linemen. He holds the current active lead among offensive linemen with 95 consecutive starts. He ranks first among tackles and tied for third among offensive linemen with 95 straight games played. But he has also played every offensive snap in that streak, a total of 6,284 plays since the first game of his rookie season.
Head coach Andy Reid says he’s well aware of Schwartz’s streak.
“He would love to play every snap,” Reid said. “He’s got a record going and he would love that.”
Schwartz is not the only Chiefs lineman with a games played streak. Left tackle Eric Fisher has played 68 consecutive games, third-best among offensive tackles. But Reid said he tries to not let playing streaks interfere with the team’s long-term interests.
“I look at that, sure,” Reid said. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to do it but I look at it.”
Schwartz makes it clear that he wants to keep his streaks going, but says he will defer to Reid’s decision.
“Obviously that’s just the natural tendency,” Schwartz said. “I’ve never missed it, so you keep wanting to go. He’s been in this situation before, so he knows how to manage for the playoff run and stuff like that. We’ll see what happens.”
Keeping his streak of games played and started is not difficult at all. The Chiefs carry just three reserve offensive linemen on the roster. That includes Parker Ehinger, whom the team plans to start at right guard in place of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. The team carries just one reserve tackle, Cameron Erving.
“You don’t have the numbers that you have at some positions,” Reid said. “Those guys will rotate in there and play just by numbers.”
If the Chiefs juggle their lineup, it could mean Schwartz starts but may not play the full game.
Reid said he believes Schwartz will fall in line behind whatever decision the club makes.
“This guy is the ultimate team guy,” Reid said. “Whatever we decide he’ll do. He’s not there banging on my door but I know he’d love to go.”
Schwartz said he remained unsure whether he would talk to Reid about keeping the consecutive snaps streak intact.
“I know he understands and I also know that he’s putting us in the best position to go win a championship so whatever ends up happening, that’s why I’m here to win the big thing,” Schwartz said. “We’ll see how it shakes out.”