The Kareem Hunt situation has an effect on the AFC West, the AFC playoff race, and the future of the NFL in handling similar situations.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been the class of the AFC all season and have already beaten the Denver Broncos twice, but their season has taken a terrible turn with the latest regarding an issue from earlier in 2018 involving star running back Kareem Hunt.
Hunt, in his second year out of Toledo, had quickly established himself as arguably the best running back in the entire NFL. He was one of the most valuable players on the Chiefs’ offense, and recent footage released by TMZ caused the Chiefs to flat-out release him on Friday night.
This has quickly become one of the most disappointing and shocking events of the 2018 NFL season.
The Chiefs are still the top team in the AFC record-wise, but this situation puts a dent in their Super Bowl aspirations. More importantly, there are things Kareem Hunt needs to figure out off the field and there are people involved in this situation who deserve justice.
Hopefully, Hunt and the victim involved are able to get the help they may need going forward.
In terms of what this means from a football perspective, it’s a huge blow to the Kansas City Chiefs and a potential difference maker for the AFC playoff race, Super Bowl chase, and possibly the AFC West division race depending on what the Chargers are capable of putting together in the coming weeks.
The Broncos aren’t going to pull ahead of Kansas City this year, despite the fact that they have a chance to make the postseason as a Wild Card team.
With Melvin Gordon’s knee sprain, it’s not a stretch to say that Phillip Lindsay is currently the best healthy back in the AFC West.
Spencer Ware is a very good backup running back, and Andy Reid’s offense has proven to be an effective system for pretty much any back he inserts into it, but Hunt is a special talent and losing him could have a profound impact on the way the Chiefs are able to close games down the stretch.
This is a much bigger issue for the league as a whole, as rumors are already swirling the league and the Chiefs had knowledge of this video but may or may not have chosen to watch it until it was recently released to the public via TMZ.
Ultimately, this issue could really cause things to shake up in the AFC West with Hunt’s absence being the difference the Chargers need to pull ahead of Kansas City if they can string together some wins here at the end of the season.
The Chiefs still have plenty of weapons offensively, including Tyreek Hill who has also had similar issues to those facing Kareem Hunt in the past.
It will be interesting to see how this particular situation affects the league’s policies and procedures.