Patrick Mahomes has defeated everything the NFL has thrown at him. The Kansas City Chiefs‘ record-setting quarterback has a Super Bowl win, an MVP Trophy (with likely another on the way), and his team is in the AFC Championship Game for a ridiculous fifth year in a row. This week, however, Mahomes has a different rival as he does everything he can to recover from a high ankle sprain that saw him leave, then improbably rejoin, the Chiefs as they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 in their Divisional Round contest.
Patrick Mahomes Plays Injured
That enemy is time after Mahomes picked up the dreaded high ankle sprain in the win. Mahomes was injured late in the first quarter of the game against the Jags when defensive end Arden Key fell directly onto Mahomes’ lower leg while making a tackle. There was nothing dirty about the play, nothing illegal, just one of those freak instances where the full weight of a defensive player making a good tackle catches an offensive player’s foot under them with nowhere to go.
It looked ugly at the time – Mahomes leg and ankle bent at a very unnatural angle – and it proved to be an issue from the very next play, with Mahomes unable to put weight on his leg. An old adage in sports asks if you are hurt or injured. If you are hurt, then you rub some dirt on it and continue. If you are injured, then it is another matter entirely. Mahomes, in this case, is and was most defiantly injured.
The Chiefs’ rallied well. 37-year-old Cbackup Chad Henne is no Mahomes, but he knows the system well enough to step in and make things happen. In Andy Reid as a head coach and Travis Kelce as a tight end, Henne had a play caller and pass catcher that allowed him to succeed for the series he was on of the field as he marched the Chiefs 98 yards for a touchdown. Ironically, this is the longest playoff drive in Chiefs’ history, though those in red and gold will want their No. 1 quarterback back for the AFC Championship tilt with the Cincinnati Bengals next week.
Mahones managed to come back into the game against the Jags. He is such a unique quarterback that if anyone can play on one leg, it is him. While his mobility – a key weapon – will be removed, Mahomes can make off-balance and weird angle throws that other quarterbacks don’t even think of. If the Chiefs’ medical staff can get Mahomes anything close to ready, then he will play. It will then be up to his offensive line to protect him and for the defense to attack the Bengals’ offensive line – an evident weakness – to keep their scoring down. This is still a winnable game, but it got much harder with one play against the Jags.
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