The Kansas City Chiefs managed to squeak past the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game with a 23-20 victory, but they paid a steep price in the process. Several of their players were forced out of the game early with injuries, with maybe the most important player in that group being cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

Sneed has emerged to become the Chiefs top cornerback this season, typically spending most of his time guarding the opposing team’s top wide receiver. Sneed was forced out of the game after playing just four defensive snaps with a head injury, and in the aftermath of the game, it’s been revealed that Sneed is indeed in the concussion protocol, making his status extremely noteworthy over the next two weeks.

Via James Palmer:

“Andy Reid said L’Jarius Snead, who spends most of his time covering teams #1 WR is in the concussion protocol. His status for the Super Bowl will be one to watch vs the Eagles.”

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This is a huge storyline to watch for both sides in the buildup to the Super Bowl. Sneed would likely be spending most of the day guarding A.J. Brown if he can suit up, and while that may already be a favorable matchup for Brown, things could be even more friendly for him if Sneed cannot suit up.

Sneed will now be battling the clock as he tries to get himself out of the concussion protocol. The good news is that he has an extra week to find his way back onto the field, but if he can’t play, that would put the Chiefs in a huge bind against a deadly Eagles offense. The game is still far away, but Sneed’s status may need to be monitored on a day-by-day basis given his importance to Kansas City, and it will be interesting to see whether or not he can suit up for this game.