Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs’ Andy Reid proud of progress made by George Karlaftis in 2022

Kansas City Chiefs rookie DE George Karlaftis has come on strong in the second half of the 2022 NFL regular season and it hasn’t been lost on his head coach.

Karlaftis notched another sack in Week 18 against the Las Vegas Raiders, marking his sixth sack in the last seven games. He finished the regular season with six total sacks, the fifth-most by a rookie in franchise history. Only Art Still (6.5), Tamba Hali (8), Jared Allen (9) and Derrick Thomas (10) have more sacks in a rookie season for the franchise.

Speaking to reporters following the Week 18 game, Chiefs HC Andy Reid expressed pride for Karlaftis and the progress he’s shown throughout the full 17-game season.

“I’m proud of that kid because it’s hard to make it through as a rookie, period, 17 games,” Reid said. “But getting better every week at that position is something that is as much mental as it is physical, and he is relentless. You see him at practice, he goes 100 miles an hour at practice. He transfers that into the games. My hat goes off to him.”

Reid has seen the results from practice and the meeting rooms translate into results on the field. Karlaftis finished the season No. 3 among rookie edge rushers in terms of sacks, behind only the Detroit Lions duo of Aidan Hutchinson (9.5) and James Houston (8). Only Hutchinson (53) recorded more pressures than Karlaftis (48) during the regular season according to PFF.

Availability has also been huge for Karlaftis. He started all 17 regular season games as a rookie for Kansas City, joining Trey Smith and Creed Humphrey (2021) as the only rookies in franchise history to hit that mark.

Chiefs Wire USA Today