Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes ended all uncertainty when it comes to his status for Sunday’s AFC championship against the Buffalo Bills when he took the podium to speak with the media on Friday via Zoom conference call.
“Yeah, I actually just got out of the protocol,” said Mahomes, muttering the words Chiefs fans were hoping to hear since Sunday. “The week has been a bunch of testing, a bunch of different things just to make sure that I’m good to go. No lingering effects or anything like that, but everything’s been good, and I went through what the three or four doctors have said and everything has looked well, and I’m out of it now.”
Mahomes was injured on an option play during the third quarter of the team’s 22-17 Divisional round win over the Cleveland Browns. Mahomes noted that the Chiefs had run the same play earlier in the game — but this time, he took on a nasty tackle by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson.
“I ran out to the right, obviously got hit, tried to get up, felt my legs go out,” explained Mahomes. “I knew that wasn’t a good thing, so I was able to get grabbed. I remember before going off the field, I was telling the trainers to let me stay there, so Chad (Henne) could warm up because I knew we were about to go for it on the fourth down and I went into the testing and everything like that.”
Prior to his upper-body injury, Mahomes had hurt his left toe in the second quarter. He looked hampered by the issue right afterward, but was performing better in the third quarter before having to leave the game.
Five days later, he described how that issue has also been alleviated headed into the conference championship.
“It’s feeling a lot better,” said Mahomes of the toe. “I mean the next day (on Monday) it was very sore and then every single day since then it has gotten a lot better. It’s stuff you deal with being a football player — you deal with injures and luckily enough for me, this wasn’t as bad as it looked and felt the day of and the day after.”
Due to the protocol, Mahomes was somewhat restricted in what he could do. The Chiefs labeled him limited throughout the week, though he enters Sunday with no injury designation. That means he is good to play.
“You just have to take it day by day — I think that’s the biggest thing,” mentioned Mahomes. “You can only control what you can control and for me that was coming in every single day with a positive attitude, trying to make myself better, prepare myself as if I was going to play and luckily enough I haven’t had any symptoms and I’m able to play. I just prepare myself to control whatever I can control and luckily enough we’re at where we’re at now.”
Against the Bills in Week 6, Mahomes threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs dominated in the run game, rushing for 245 yards as a team. But Mahomes told reporters he thought they were more than capable then — and now.
“I mean even when we faced them in Week 6, they were a really good football team and they’ve continued to get better and better each and every week,” he said. “When you’re at this point in the season you’re playing great football teams and so they have great players at every single level on their defense. Obviously they have a tremendous offense and we expect them to come out and be aggressive like they’ve been playing the last few weeks and so we’ll be prepared for whatever they show us and try to counteract that with our best foot forward and try to find a way to win a football game.”