When it happened, it was about the quietest you’ll ever hear things at Arrowhead Stadium.
With 2:40 left in the first quarter of the Kansas City Chiefs’ divisional round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, Patrick Mahomes found himself pinned between two Jacksonville defenders — edge-rusher Arden Key, and defensive tackle Corey Peters. As Mahomes went to the ground, Key rolled up on Mahomes’ right ankle, and Mahomes was in obvious pain.
Mahomes tried to resume play, but as he was one-hopping simple handoffs at that point, it didn’t look good. Backup quarterback Chad Henne led the Chiefs on a 12-play, 98-yard drive in the first half to keep his team on top of things, and Mahomes did eventually return to finish the game, a 27-20 win over the Jags.
Now we have a better idea of what Mahomes and the Chiefs are dealing with moving forward. On Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network confirmed that Mahomes did suffer a right high ankle sprain, but that the quarterback has vowed to he “good to go” for the AFC Championship game between either the Buffalo Bills or the Cincinnati Bengals.
Mahomes was clearly unhappy about having to go to the locker room to get x-rays, which he explained after the game.
“Yeah, I obviously didn’t want to go back and see it. I didn’t want to go get the x‐rays or whatever it was. I wanted just to continue to play. I told them I would do it at halftime but (Head) Coach (Andy Reid), in the best interest of me, just made – he made me go back there and get that x‐ray before he put me back in the game and for a while I thought I could play through it and he said, “I’m not putting you back in so you might as well go get the x‐ray and then if it’s negative or whatever I’ll put you back in.” So, I ran back there and got the x‐ray and was able to finish the game.”
Not that the Chiefs had a lot of time to do anything for him. Wrap up the ankle and go was the strategy.
“You don’t have time to get treatment and stuff like that,” Mahomes explained. “You just put the spat on, get it tight, try to keep the swelling down and then go out there and play. They made me do a couple of things in the locker room to show that I could move and protect myself if everything kind of came, pressure came, whatever it was and credit to the team. (The) offensive line did an amazing job of protecting me, I got the ball out of my hands quickly and guys made plays. But it’s a team sport for a reason and guys stepped up around me.”
Mahomes also explained that the only way to get him out of a playoff game is involuntarily on his behalf
“I mean I’m not coming out of a playoff game unless they take me out. I’m just going to play. I love this sport too much; I love this game. I love playing with my teammates and being able to go out there and enjoy it together. We prepare all year to be in the playoffs and to play in these games and I’m glad that I was able to get back in the game and it’s something that I just love competing in this sport and pain is pain and you’re going to have to deal with it either way.”
We’ll see how things progress for Mahomes through the week, but initial findings seem to be relatively positive.