KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kareem Hunt has already run into the record books just three games into his NFL career.
Kansas City’s third-round pick out of Toledo is the only player in NFL history to score a touchdown of 50 yards or more in his first three games. He’s also rushed for 401 yards — the third most in NFL history through a player’s first three games.
Hunt, however, has yet to carry the ball 20 times in a game this season. That could change when the Chiefs play the Washington Redskins at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Arrowhead Stadium.
“I’m ready for it,” Hunt said.
Hunt’s 401 yards rushing is tops in the NFL and he has done so on just 47 carries, averaging 8.5 yards per attempt. The Chiefs (3-0) also lead the NFL in rushing at 162 yards per game.
The most Hunt has carried the ball this season in a game has been 17, which he’s done twice. The first was Week 1 against New England and the second was last week against the Chargers.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said the team is not necessarily being cautious with Hunt, but he also doesn’t want to wear him out early.
“With all of our players, we try to make sure that we keep in mind how fresh they are and where they’re at physically,” Reid said. “It’s not different for him.”
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith also said Hunt’s workload has been dictated by the way the games have gone.
“There is a lot of different ways to get a ball to a back, not just handoffs,” Smith said. “He is a guy that is good at that. He is good in the pass game, good at catching balls. You can get him touches there.
“I think each game is different, how they are playing us. So we will see. I know it is something you monitor. I know the coaches probably look at that more closely.”
Hunt was durable in college, but even he admits the NFL season is more taxing. So he is already doing his part to make sure he can handle it.
“It starts now just taking care of your body every day and just doing little things,” he said. “Even when you’re not that sore, you just got to keep working to get your body all the way back together so you got to take it day by day and week by week, just every day coming in and getting in the cold tub, just making sure I’m not taking big hits out there. Just playing smart.”
Hunt has certainly done that. After his performance against the Patriots, he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Hunt said he has about 10 copies and gave about 15 to his mother. Hunt also has become a household name and has seen his life change considerably in just a few weeks.
“I mean, there’s a lot of people trying to reach out to you and a lot of people end up recognizing you wherever you go,” Hunt said. “If you go to the store or out to eat, anything like that. It’s just a lot more people trying to get to you.”
Hunt, however, has remained pretty grounded in that regard.
“I kind of stay in my own little world, just hang out, talk to my same guys and keep a low profile,” Hunt said.
SANTOS CUT — The Chiefs on Saturday released kicker Cairo Santos with an injury designation, opening the door for him to possibly sign with another team. The Chiefs placed Santos on injured reserve Tuesday with a groin injury and signed rookie kicker Harrison Butker from Carolina’s practice squad.
In parts of four seasons with the Chiefs, Santos made 89 of 105 field goals. Butker, meanwhile, will be making his NFL debut Monday.
FORD, MORSE OUT — Outside linebacker Dee Ford will miss Monday’s game with a sore lower back. Center Mitch Morse also has been ruled out with a foot injury.
REDSKINS AT CHIEFS
When/Where: 7:30 p.m. Monday Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
Records: Washington 2-1, Kansas City 3-0
TV/Radio: ESPN, KDVV-FM (100.3)
Line: Kansas City by 7