One of the more confusing things transpiring on defense for the Kansas City Chiefs that has Chiefs Kingdom scratching their heads this season is the play of third-year defensive back, Juan Thornhill.
His playing time plummeted in Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens after playing a majority of the defensive snaps in the regular-season opener (we will circle back to this later), which may have sparked a cryptic tweet from the third-year defensive back and signaled he could be in the Chiefs’ doghouse.
To understand how we’ve gotten to this point, context is necessary.
Thornhill, a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is in his first season full healthy since tearing his ACL in Week 17 of the 2019 season. He did play in the 2020 season, however, it wasn’t until the postseason that, for those watching, could tell Thornhill was finally regaining the potential he had during his rookie season prior to his injury, which had earned him a spot on PFF’s all-rookie team for that season.
The momentum Thornhill had in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run carried into this season, albeit playing with second and third stringers during the preseason. He had one of the best plays in the NFL in August, recording a diving interception against the Arizona Cardinals in Kansas City’s second preseason game.