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Harrison Butker has been handling kickoffs for the Kansas City Chiefs since his rookie year in 2017, but that's something that could be changing this season. 

Chiefs special-teams coordinator Dave Toub revealed on Thursday that the team is thinking about sending Butker to the bench for kickoffs this season. Although Butker has been under fire for making controversial comments at a commencement speech earlier this month, his potential benching has nothing to do with that. 

The reason the Chiefs are thinking about keeping Butker on the sideline for kickoffs is because they don't want him taking hits all season. 

"I like to have somebody who is able to make a tackle, Butker is able to make a tackle, but I really don't want him making tackles all year long," Toub told the media

The difference between this year and the past seven years -- when Butker did handle the kickoffs -- is that the NFL will be implementing one of the most drastic rule changes in league history in 2024 with its new kickoff rule. The rule was once used in the XFL and after watching film of how the kickoff worked in that league, Toub noticed that kickers were getting beat up because they were almost always involved in the tackle. 

"If you watched the XFL -- I watched every play -- I bet kickers were involved at least 25% to 40% of the tackles," Toub said. "Either trying to make a guy bounce back or making the tackle or missing the tackle. We don't want Butker in that situation."

Instead of putting Butker in danger, the Chiefs are thinking about trotting out safety Justin Reid or former Rugby player Louis Rees-Zammit, who just signed with the team in March

On Reid's end, he's actually filled in for Butker before after the kicker got injured, so the Chiefs would certainly be comfortable with him handling kickoffs. 

There's actually a huge advantage to letting Reid kick off and that's the fact that the team now has to account for the kicker. 

"Justin can cover, he can kick, and he can go down there and make tackles," Toub said. "He's an extra guy they're probably not accounting for. ...  A guy like Justin is a guy they have to worry about. They have to get him blocked and they have to give up blocking someone else."

Toub also left the door open for Rees-Zammit to handle a few kickoffs. 

"Louis has done above and beyond what I expected," Toub said, via Arrrowhead Report. "He can kick field goals, he can be a kickoff guy for us. He's every bit as good as Justin (Reid) is at moving the football and stuff like that on kickoffs."

Although Butker will likely be on the bench for most kickoffs this year, Toub did admit that the Chiefs might still use him if it makes sense. 

"He'll be a guy that we'll use in certain situations," Toubb said. "He's got a lot of ability to move the ball, whereas the other guys may not be as apt to doing that. He can still kick a touchback if we need it."

No one has any idea what the new kickoff rule is going to look like in the NFL and with the start of the season less than 100 days away, teams are currently tinkering with their strategy. For instance, the Chiefs might not be the only team that benches their starting kicker on kickoffs. However, if you do bench your kicker, you have to have some serious faith in his replacement, because if the ball goes out of bounds on a kickoff or doesn't reach the return team's 20-yard line, the receiving team gets a touchback at the 40. 

"You can't take too much risk because if you hit it out of bounds, now you're giving up the ball at the 40," Toub said. 

There are three different types of touchbacks with the new rule and if you want a refresher on how the new kickoff rule will work, you can check that out here

All 32 teams are still trying to figure out the best strategy for the new kickoff, and for now, the Chiefs think the best strategy might be to have Butker on the bench.