Who is the Chiefs’ backup quarterback? Kansas City’s 2023 QB depth chart behind Patrick Mahomes


No one player makes a team — but if they did, then the Chiefs might have the best one in the entire NFL.

Few players have commanded the quarterback position in recent years like Patrick Mahomes, who is well on his way to rewriting the NFL record book when it comes to passing. That said, football is a dangerous and unpredictable game, and players must be ready to step up in a pinch if necessary.

Even the backup to Mahomes. Luckily for Kansas City, it has a seasoned veteran behind Mahomes if they need him in a pinch: 15-year NFL quarterback Chad Henne. Though he has not been used much in recent years, he has a plethora of experience and a talented cast around him to lead the Chiefs, should they need him.

With that, The Sporting News looks at Henne’s NFL career, as well as the rest of Kansas City’s quarterback outlook heading into the remainder of the 2023 NFL playoffs:

MORE: NFL power rankings: Re-ranking the 8 teams left in 2023 playoffs, from Chiefs to Giants

Who is the Chiefs’ backup quarterback?

Chad Henne, entering his fifth season with the Chiefs, is the team’s primary backup to Mahomes. The former Michigan standout and second-round pick of the 208 NFL Draft has not played considerably for the Chiefs — nor have they needed him to.

Indeed, Henne has appeared in 11 games in five seasons in Kansas City, starting one game. He has completed 41 of 59 passes in that time (69.5 percent) for 359 yards and two touchdowns. A good chunk of those stats came in his lone start in Kansas City’s Week 7 game at Tennessee in 2021 (which the Chiefs lost 27-3). He completed 11 of 16 passes for 82 yards in the contest, adding a rush for 4 yards, in the loss.

Henne in 2022 has been credited with appearances at Arizona in Week 1, at the 49ers in Week 7 and at the Raiders in Week 18. His only two pass attempts this season came against the Raiders; both were incomplete.

Despite his recent lack of usage, Henne does have a history of playing — and starting — games for the Dolphins and Jaguars, where he spent four and six seasons, respectively. For his career, Henne has completed 1,200 of 2,015 attempts (59.5 percent) for 13,290 yards and 60 touchdowns to 63 interceptions.

He has an 18-36 record as a starter, including 0-1 in Kansas City.

MORE: NFL playoff bracket: Who will Chiefs play in 2023 divisional round?

Chiefs QB depth chart

The Chiefs have four quarterbacks on their roster, including practice squad member Chris Oladokun. Otherwise, their depth chart looks like this:

Rank Player
1 Patrick Mahomes
2 Chad Henne
3 Shane Buechele

Mahomes remains the undisputed starter in Kansas City, with Henne available to take over, presumably, in garbage time or in the case the former is hurt. If neither Mahomes nor Hanne can go, then second-year quarterback Shane Buechele out of SMU would be tabbed as the starter.

Buechele has not been credited with any regular-season stats in two seasons with the Chiefs. He has appeared in six preseason games, however, completing (64.1 percent) for 757 yards and six touchdowns to three interceptions.

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