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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Since the NFL began Thursday Night Football in the early 2010s, players and coaches have discussed the struggles of preparing to play a game four days after playing a game on Sunday.

The spread of COVID-19 is also adding more to that as both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers teams may be without some key players due to COVID, injuries and life circumstances.

The Chiefs could be without DL Chris Jones and coaches have confirmed LB Willie Gay and CB L’Jarius Sneed are out. The Chargers could be without OT Rashawn Slater this week.

But for Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, he gets a little help in preparation because of the staff effort it takes to get ready for the short week.

“I didn’t do anything with it, but the rest of the staff was well into it Saturday morning, maybe even some of the guys Friday afternoon. They were just putting together things for me,” Spagnuolo said.

“I’m not so sure you can ever be [ready for a Thursday opponent] because you can never get your eyes on them as much on film because real quickly here we have to feed something to the players.”

But even on a short week, the players know how important this game is to winning the AFC West and to keeping their winning streak going.

“Obviously, the Chargers are a pretty good football team, and we expect those guys to give us their best shot, safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “I think the last time we played those guys it went their way, so we’ve got that on our mind. So we’re really just hoping we can go in there with some great energy and kind of just take over the place.”

“I’ve had a long day yesterday, and I’ll have a long day today as well. I try to do whatever I can to get everything in that I get on a normal week just knowing it’s going to be a kind of long Monday and Tuesday where you can take Wednesday to kind of recover and get your body right for the game,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said.

The Chiefs kickoff in Los Angeles on Thursday at 7:20 p.m. CT. You can watch the game on FOX4.