The Chiefs had to finish out the divisional round without Patrick Mahomes, and they’re now concerned about his status for the AFC championship game.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mahomes recently cleared “some big steps” in the NFL’s concussion protocol, leaving him a step closer to playing this upcoming weekend. His status is still unclear and still has to pass final steps to get on the field vs. the Bills.
Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes cleared certain steps Monday, “some big steps”, but he remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol with what is considered a concussion and it’s too early to say that he definitely will play in Sunday’s conference championship vs. the Bills, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 19, 2021
Mahomes is still dealing with a foot injury sustained in the first quarter of the game, but the injury isn’t expected to be serious.
The KC star was hit by Mack Wilson in the third quarter of the divisional matchup vs. Buffalo, and he was slow to get back to his feet following the hit. Mahomes would need help from teammates and Kansas City personnel following the hit.
It’s difficult to see where exactly Mahomes was injured, but the Chiefs would rule Mahomes out. Initial reports indicated he suffered a concussion, but CBS has since written that it was a tweaked nerve in his neck that caused him to exit.
The positive news is that it seems that Mahomes could potentially be good to go for the AFC Championship Game next week in Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said postgame that Mahomes is doing well and that he passed all the preliminary tests.
Andy Reid: “(Mahomes) got hit in the back of the head. He’s doing great right now. So that’s a positive. He passed all of the deals he had to pass.” …Not quite medical jargon but the tone certainly seemed optimistic.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) January 17, 2021
Mahomes will still have to pass protocol during the week in order to be eligible for championship Sunday.
Following the game, Wilson offered well wishes to Mahomes, and the quarterback answered, showing no ill will between the two players:
Initially, Mahomes was helped off the field slowly by Chiefs medical personnel, and he headed into the blue medical tent along the sideline. Soon after, Mahomes was seen jogging to the locker room.
CBS’ Tracy Wolfson reports that Mahomes is currently going through concussion protocol and the team would not have an official designation until after the questioning was complete.
The Chiefs would confirm Wolfson’s initial report:
QB Patrick Mahomes is being evaluated for a concussion.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 17, 2021
Mahomes has taken a beating in the game, with an injury to his left big toe earlier in the game showing him visibly hobbled throughout the course of the game.
Mahomes would be replaced by longtime NFL vet and backup quarterback Chad Henne, who would finish out the drive and net a field goal to extend the lead to 22-10.