NEXT MAN UP: Who will fill the void with Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones out?

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Melvin Ingram (24) is congratulated by teammate defensive end Chris Jones (95) after a play during the first half an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

LOS ANGELES — Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones hasn’t been activated from the reserve/COVID list, meaning he won’t see the field Thursday night against the Los Angeles Chargers. It has fans wondering who will fill the void now that he’s out.

Jones was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday and would have needed two negative COVID-19 tests with 24 hours between each to be cleared to play.

Kansas City’s defensive line has several candidates to provide production from the defensive tackle and defensive end positions.

Los Angeles will be without their standout rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater, allowing whoever lines up against the next man in line will have a potentially favorable matchup.

Frank Clark and Melvin Ingram

The two outside pass rushers will need to put on a show against Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert who is putting together an MVP like season.

Ingram’s arrival allowed for Jones to move back to the interior of the defensive line and has increased his productivity.

The veteran pass rusher will be facing his former team where he spent nine seasons.

Clark seems to be fully recovered from his injury and has seen increased success in pressures.

Jones leads the team with 29 quarterback pressures followed by Clark with 25.

Jarran Reed

As an offseason acquisition, Reed’s initial duties were to replace Jones on the interior and allow defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to put Jones on the outside as a defensive end.

With Ingram’s arrival, Reed now plays alongside Jones inside and has tallied 15 pressures of his own and 1.5 sacks.

Reed turns 39 the same day as the game against the Chargers and could use that as extra motivation to have a good game.

Tershawn Wharton and Derrick Nnadi

Wharton has seen a limited amount of snaps along the defensive line, but has shown the ability to step in and make big plays.

His famous interception off a lineman’s helmet against the Washington Football Team helped seal a victory toward the beginning of the season when the Chiefs were struggling.

The second-year defensive lineman has 21 tackles this season and was a name brought up by teammates during training camp.

Nnadi has two sacks, two quarterback knockdowns, five pressures and one hurry on limited snaps this season.

Defenders at the cornerback and linebacker position will also need to step up and step in for the likes of L’Jarius Sneed and Willie Gay.

Expect to see Ben Niemann, Anthony Hitchens and Nick Bolton with increased snaps in the linebacker spots and Rashad Fenton and Mike Hughes fill in the defensive backfield.

Hughes is coming off a performance that earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The Chiefs and Chargers kickoff from SoFi Stadium at 7:20 p.m. Thursday night. You can watch the game on FOX4.

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