Chiefs’ Carson Wentz in ‘different’ role backing up Patrick Mahomes: ‘I’ll keep finding ways I can help’

Chiefs’ Carson Wentz in ‘different’ role backing up Patrick Mahomes: ‘I’ll keep finding ways I can help’


Carson Wentz Embracing Backup Role, Ready to 'Help' Patrick Mahomes

Last offseason, Carson Wentz waited for a potential starting quarterback role that never materialized. This spring, the former MVP candidate quickly jumped into a spot behind the best quarterback in the NFL, signing a deal in Kansas City to back up Patrick Mahomes.

For the first time in his career, Wentz is entering a season as a clear backup. He is taking the correct mental approach, acknowledging last month during offseason practices that he’s there to help aid Mahomes.

“We’re still early,” Wentz said, via ESPN. “We’re only in here a handful of hours every day and a couple days a week, and it’s not quite the grind that it will be. So that’ll keep evolving and kind of how I find my place, so to speak. But Pat and I already have a great relationship and that’ll keep growing and I’ll keep finding ways I can help.

“I’ll find a way to help him whatever way I can, whether that’s off the field, on the field, whatever.”

After longtime veteran backup Chad Henne retired in 2023, the Chiefs signed Blaine Gabbert to fill the role. This offseason, it’s Wentz’s gig.

Coach Andy Reid spoke glowingly of the former first-round pick, mentioning his play in the one start for the Los Angeles Rams last season.

“Carson, I know, did a nice job when he worked with the Rams [last season], had a nice game for him actually when he played for them right at the end there,” Reid said. “We welcome him in. We talked to him last year when we were talking to Blaine, and he was holding off for an opportunity to possibly start. It was good to get him in this position and if he has an opportunity to play, he has an opportunity to play.

“Carson looks sharp. He’s picking things up fast, smart guy, and he fits in well. Seems like a heck of a person, and he’s good in that [quarterback] room.”

Wentz admitted he’s entering 2024 with a different perspective, knowing he has no shot to unseat the three-time Super Bowl MVP.

“It’s different,” Wentz said. “I’m not going to lie. I’m trying to learn as much as I can as quickly as I can, formulate a relationship with all these guys and just keep getting better on the field. … You’ve got to always be ready to go when called upon, so it’s no different in that regard.”

Mahomes hasn’t missed a game due to injury since the middle of the 2019 season. If that trend continues, Wentz will primarily be tasked with aiding film study and perhaps some mop-up duty.

In the meantime, he’s hoping to learn from the two-time NFL MVP.

“He just processes the game really quickly,” Wentz said of Mahomes. “He calls protections, he’s in and out of the huddle and throwing anticipatory throws, all that stuff, all that stuff you see from afar. But it’s just fun to see it and in some respects just see different windows on plays that maybe you didn’t see before because he’s playing so quickly out there.”

Wentz hopes a year of caddying for Mahomes springboards him back into a potential starting gig in 2025. At the very least, proving he’s willing to be a backup quarterback could elongate his NFL career.


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