Going into the AFC Championship Game, the Kansas City Chiefs have a question mark at their most important position. It is unknown if their quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be ready to play because he has to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol. Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid needs to have a backup plan, but he hopes his MVP play-caller will go against the Buffalo Bills.
The league has taken concussions more seriously, and all eyes will be on the Kansas City medical staff leading up until Sunday. The Chiefs should feel really good about Mahomes’ chances to play this week, thanks to what Andy Reid said about his quarterback.
Patrick Mahomes suffers an injury against the Browns
Everything was going right for Kansas City in their AFC Divisional Game against the Browns. They were 19-10 in the third quarter and looking to add more points on the board. On a speed option play, Mahomes was tackled to the ground by Mack Wilson. As Mahomes got up, he was visibly woozy.
Players and teammates around him signaled for trainers to take a look at Mahomes. He was taken out of the game and didn’t return. The Chiefs survived without Mahomes, thanks to Chad Henne’s efforts late in the game. Many initially thought that Patrick Mahomes suffered a concussion, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
After watching the play, many were wondering where Mahomes suffered the concussion. His head wasn’t slammed to the ground. That is because Mahomes suffered a tweaked nerve in his neck, according to CBS Sports. The nerve being hit explains why Mahomes was staggering as he got up. This is the best-case scenario for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs and the entire NFL stopped when Mahomes struggled to get to his feet. He seemed fine shortly after the injury, even running back to Kansas City’s locker room. Andy Reid is an old school guy, and based on what he saw Sunday, he believes Mahomes could’ve come back into the game.
Andy Reid believes Patrick Mahomes could’ve came back against the Browns
Even though Mahomes’ injury looked scary, it doesn’t seem to be as serious as a concussion. That is a great sign for the Chiefs and their star quarterback’s likelihood to suit up against the Bills. He could’ve returned to the game to the Browns if it was up to Andy Reid. He passed the tests and was feeling good, according to him.
“There was a chance back in the day that Patrick comes back in [the game]. You saw him run up the tunnel. By the time he got to that point, he was feeling pretty good. But there’s a certain protocol you have to follow, and that takes it out of the trainer’s hand and the player’s hand and the doctor’s hand,” said Reid per ESPN.
Given how the NFL treats head and neck injuries, it was doubtful Mahomes returned to the game. No matter how good he felt (and according to Reid, it was pretty good), the team trainers and neurologist weren’t going to risk putting Mahomes back on the field. However, Reid’s comments do give Chiefs fans confidence that he will be ready to play.
He’s doing great right now. So that’s a positive. He passed all of the deals he had to pass,” said Reid per Jeff Darlington.
Andy Reid has a plan for the AFC Championship Game
What Andy Reid said about his quarterback is great news, but the Chiefs aren’t out of the woods yet. Patrick Mahomes will need to undergo more tests and evaluations throughout the week to see if he is healthy enough to go. Reid understands this reality and knows having plans for Mahomes and Henne as the starter is necessary.
“Because of the protocol, it’s a no-brainer from a coaching standpoint. You don’t have to think about it. You just have to go forward and make sure you have an answer if he’s there and an answer if he’s not there,” said Reid per ESPN.
The hope is that Mahomes will be there for Andy Reid. It’s no secret that the Chiefs’ offense is an entirely different monster with him under center. Reid might not admit it publicly, but he knows having No. 15 at quarterback allows him to use his entire playbook. He can’t do that with Henne.
Andy Reid’s comments about Patrick Mahomes’ health are positive signs for him returning to the field. Reid would’ve liked to see him back in the Divisional round, but NFL protocols take that power out of his hands. He’d rather be safe than sorry with the best quarterback in the game and wants him at full strength with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.