With the Chiefs locked into the No. 3 seed, Patrick Mahomes will not play in Sunday’s regular-season finale vs. the Chargers and Blaine Gabbert will instead start

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes will sit out the Kansas City Chiefs’ regular-season finale against the Chargers on Sunday in Los Angeles with their eighth straight AFC West title secured and the No. 3 seed in the playoffs already locked up.

The Chiefs can do no better or worse in their postseason positioning after last week’s win over Cincinnati clinched the division, so coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that Mahomes would get a week of rest.

Veteran backup Blaine Gabbert will start and second-year pro Chris Oladokun, who has spent the season on the practice squad, will be the primary backup.

Gabbert was signed in the offseason to replace Chad Henne, who retired after last year’s Super Bowl triumph. The Chiefs have long valued having a veteran behind Mahomes, and Gabbert has started 48 games and appeared in 68 over 12 NFL seasons.

“He works so stinking hard in practice. It’s great to have that opportunity to go out and play,” Reid said. “He’s been a starter in the league. We have confidence he knows what to do, and he’ll go in there and do well.”

The Chiefs (10-6) have struggled with offensive consistency this season, whether because of dropped passes, penalties or missed assignments. But while they finally played well in a 25-17 victory over the Bengals — despite drives fizzling and Harrison Butker kicking six field goals — Reid said he didn’t consider giving Mahomes any snaps to keep the momentum going.

Mahomes instead will turn most of his attention to the five potential opponents that Kansas City could face the following week, and Gabbert and Oladokun will split practice reps as they prepared to head to Los Angeles.

“Ultimately the reason we play football is to play in the games, right? And it’s a great opportunity not only for myself but others to play in different positions than they have been in throughout the year,” Gabbert said.

“It’s great to get reps under your belt so when your number is called in the playoffs, if it is called, you’re ready to go.”