Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was a full participant at practice Wednesday after participating in the team’s walkthrough in the morning, according to head coach Andy Reid, and it appears as though the 2022 All-Pro quarterback won’t be very limited when he does hit the practice field. Mahomes exited his press conference on Wednesday without either a walking boot or noticeable limp.
“I’m doing good, AFC Championship week, I’m ready to go,” Patrick Mahomes said Wednesday. “It’s [his ankle] doing good, I’ve had a few days of treatment, a few days of rehab. I’m excited to go get on the practice field and test it out, see where I’m at. It’s feeling good so far.”
Mahomes, who suffered a high ankle sprain in last weekend’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, has maintained all along that he would play in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and right now it appears to be trending in that direction. He continued to elaborate on the status of his ankle, per NFL Media, saying he has been getting treatment “consistently since Saturday night” after the divisional round win against the Jaguars and hasn’t been home much other than to get some sleep. JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Chiefs’ top wide receiver, expressed supreme confidence Wednesday in Mahomes’ ability to play at a high level even with the high ankle sprain.
“There is nothing that is going to stop Pat from doing what Pat does,” Smith-Schuster said, via NFL Media.
On Monday, Reid confirmed to reporters that Mahomes does indeed have a high ankle sprain, adding that he’s “doing OK” and “working hard on the treatment.” Reid also noted that he wanted to wait and see how Mahomes was feeling before determining the amount of reps he would receive throughout the week of practice. While it’s unknown how much Mahomes will practice, getting on the field Wednesday is a good sign.
Reid also noted that Mahomes’ ankle injury is not as severe as the one Mahomes suffered in Week 1 of the 2019 season, also against Jacksonville. That has to be music to the ears of Chiefs fans, especially considering that a week after that 2019 injury, he torched the Raiders to the tune of 30-for-44 passing, 443 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions.
In the first quarter against the Jaguars last weekend, Mahomes went down on a tackle and had a defender’s leg fall onto his right ankle, which twisted as he went to the ground. Mahomes was limping and hobbled to the sideline, but remained in the game for the time being, eventually getting his ankle taped.
Here is a look at how the injury happened:
The ankle twisting is apparent in the replay, as Jaguars’ Arden Key and Corey Peters tackled the quarterback.
Mahomes did eventually head to the Chiefs’ locker room early in the second quarter looking visibly upset over being taken out of he game. He was replaced by backup Chad Henne, the 37-year-old former Jaguar who had not started a game in eight years. Henne took over with the Chiefs backed up on the 1-yard-line, and led a long, impressive drive, capped off with his first postseason touchdown.
Mahomes was the first Chiefs player to come out of the locker room after halftime, and after taking some warmup throws, he returned for the first drive of the second half and would not come out again. In some moments it did look like he was still limping.
Mahomes addressed not wanting to leave the game after the win.
“Yeah I did not want to go and they kind of gave me the ultimatum of I wasn’t going back in unless I went in there so they’re trying to take care of me we got a lot of great people over here, but it’s gonna take a lot to keep me out of a football game,” he said.
Before going out with the injury, Mahomes was 12 of 15 for 84 yards and one touchdown. He finished the game going 22-for-30 with 195 yards, two touchdowns, a completion percentage of 73.3 and a 112.5 passer rating.
Mahomes and Co. are preparing for a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game, in which the Cincinnati Bengals outlasted the host Chiefs, 27-24, in overtime. Third-seeded Cincinnati manhandled the second-seeded Bills in Buffalo, 27-10, in the divisional round.