Kansas City made it back to the Super Bowl with a 38-24 win over Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game, but it didn’t come without a significant cost.
With 12:33 left in the Chiefs’ victory, Kansas City Pro Bowl left tackle Eric Fisher suffered a torn Achilles tendon and is out for Super Bowl LV. Fisher was the first overall pick in 2013 and has been a starter since his rookie season. The eight-year veteran started 15 games in 2020.
That’s bad news for Kansas City, who is already without starting right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, who is on injured reserve with a back injury. The 31-year old Schwartz is the team’s best offensive lineman, and was a first-team All Pro in 2018. Schwartz was placed on injured reserve after Week 11 and didn’t play against Tampa Bay in Kansas City’s 27-24 win in Week 12.
There is a chance he could return for Super Bowl LV, but the Chiefs played both playoff games without him.
Schwartz’s replacement, Mike Remmers, moved from right tackle to left tackle in the AFC Championship Game to replace Fisher down the stretch and is expected to get the start at left tackle in Super Bowl LV. Remmers has started 10 games this season at right tackle in Kansas City. Chiefs right guard Andrew Wylie moved over to right tackle in the fourth quarter and reserve Stefan Wisniewski, a 10-year veteran, stepped in at right guard.
Remmers got his start with the Buccaneers in 2012, signing with Tampa Bay as an undrafted free agent. He moved on to San Diego the next year, followed by a three-year stint in Carolina from 2014-16 where he started 21 games at right tackle and 16 games at left tackle. After a two-year stint with Minnesota where he started 27 games, Remmer spent the 2019 season with the New York Giants, starting 14 games at right tackle before signing with Kansas City in the offseason.
With Green Bay left tackle David Bakitiari out with a torn ACL, Bucs right outside linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul victimized Billy Turner for a pair of sacks in Tampa Bay’s 31-26 win in the NFC Championship Game. Pierre-Paul’s bookend pass rusher, Shaquil Barrett, recorded three sacks against Rick Wagner, who was the replacement at right tackle after Turner moved from the right side to the left side weeks ago.
Pierre-Paul, who is Tampa Bay’s lone Pro Bowler this season, and Barrett each had a sack against Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Week 12 when Fisher was at left tackle and Remmers was at right tackle. Will the Bucs’ edge rushers have even more success against the Chiefs’ reshuffled offensive line in the rematch on Super Bowl Sunday on February 7?
The fact that Mahomes is hobbled with a toe injury that he suffered in the Chiefs’ playoff win against the Browns certainly doesn’t help matters, as he’s not as fleet-footed as he is when healthy.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org