After Patrick Mahomes got caught between Corey Peters and Arden Key, and Key fell on the quarterback’s right ankle, bending it sideways, it appeared Mahomes’ day if not his season was done. Mahomes missed only 13 plays, playing through the obvious pain.
“He’s a tough kid,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, via Pete Sweeney of arrowheadpride.com. “He wanted to be in there. He wanted to be competing, and that’s a tribute to him and his competitiveness. However, you’ve got to make sure he’s OK, physically OK where he can protect himself, and if he can’t, then he can’t play. You have to go with the next guy. He’s a tough nut. And when I tell you he’s competitive, he’s very, very competitive.”
Mahomes initially stayed in the game, playing on the injured ankle for five plays while leading the Chiefs to a field goal and a 10-7 lead.
But Reid informed Mahomes that he wasn’t going back into the game without X-rays that were negative. Mahomes angrily threw off his parka and departed for the locker room.
“It was hard getting him out of the game, first of all,” Reid said. “He wanted to fight, and so we got him out, went to the X-ray, got an X-ray, looked at, taped. He came back, and he said he felt good enough to be protected, where he’s not going to get hurt. That’s obviously the primary thing.”
X-rays were negative, though Mahomes will undergo an MRI to confirm the injury isn’t nearly as bad as it looked.
He played the entire second half of the 27-20 win over the Jaguars.
“You felt like his mobility was good enough where he can do that,” Reid said. “We did a few little things with him on the sideline to see where he was at. [We] put him in, and it was short leash. If I felt like he wasn’t able to handle it, he would have been out — and back in [Chad] Henne [would go].”
Mahomes completed 10 of 15 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown in the second half, finishing 22-of-30 for 195 yards and two touchdowns.
The question now is: Can Mahomes do it again next week? The ankle is going to swell; it’s going to be sore; and if nothing else, he surely won’t practice much, if at all, this week.
Mahomes said Saturday night that he was starting treatment immediately.
“I don’t want to jump to things right now,” Reid said. “Let’s just see how it goes here the next couple days. It’s going to be sore, I know. Let’s see where he’s at. He’s had this before, and he was able to keep pushing through — actually, against Jacksonvlle a couple years ago. The same type of deal. He pushed through that. The main thing is that he’s as safe as you could be on a football field. That’s the important thing.”
It was in the season opener against the Jaguars in 2019 that Mahomes injured his ankle. He played through it, not resting it until a midseason knee injury kept him out two games. The Chiefs went on to win the Super Bowl.