The Kansas City Chiefs have an opportunity to gain ground in the AFC by defeating the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. However, there are concerns about the entire team being able to suit up for the game. The reason being that the Chiefs equipment was mistakenly sent to New Jersey instead of Foxborough.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, a container holding player helmets, shoulder pads, and footballs was not unloaded when the Chiefs arrived in Massachusetts. Instead, it was accidentally shipped to Newark, New Jersey. The container is being rushed back to Foxborough and is expected to arrive prior to kickoff.
Per Schefter, the equipment of roughly 35 players is expected to arrive between 3 and 3:30 p.m. ET, shortly prior to kickoff. However, there is a scenario in which the players can't suit up due to the equipment being absent, which would force the Chiefs to forfeit.
"Patriots cheating as usual," one user wrote on Twitter as a potential explanation for this shipment heading to the wrong location. Others contributed by posting multiple GIFs of Patriots coach Bill Belichick smiling, walking around, and laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation. Although many on social media simply believed that the coach had orchestrated this in an effort to get an easy win.
Well, this conspiracy theory was quickly shot down in the initial report. As Schefter explained, this is not an issue owed to the league or the Patriots. The Chiefs are solely to blame after they simply failed to unload the equipment from the plane. There was no outside influence from the Patriots head coach.
“'Mistakenly,'” one Chiefs fan wrote on Twitter. "Funny how insane stuff like this always happens around the Patriots. Nothing to see here folks...just the usual fixing of games and screwing with teams before the game like always. Once a cheater always a cheater."
Regardless of the true reasoning for this error in shipping, that didn't prevent NFL fans from deciding that the league and the Patriots had conspired to take a much-needed victory away from the playoff-hopeful Chiefs. One fan did add some entertainment to the discussion by posting a photo of Belichick with a fake mustache and labeling him as the "employee" that had sent the equipment to New Jersey instead of unloading it in Foxborough.
With kickoff between the Chiefs and Patriots drawing near, there are concerns about the availability of the equipment and whether or not the players will be available to suit up. If the worst-case scenario happens and results in a forfeited game, the cries of "cheating" will only grow louder despite Schefter specifically saying that the Patriots had nothing to do with this situation.
Photo Credit: David Eulitt/Getty