One of the biggest storylines heading into the AFC Championship Game was how Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes would fare with the high ankle sprain he suffered in the team’s divisional round win over the Jaguars.
Mahomes practiced all week and wasn’t on the team’s final injury report, but it was obvious at various points in Sunday’s game that he was still dealing with pain in the ankle. That didn’t stop him from throwing for 326 yards and two touchdowns and it didn’t stop him from scrambling for a first down with seconds to play in the game.
Bengals defensive end Joseph Ossai tacked 15 yards onto Mahomes’ run by hitting him out of bounds and Harrison Butker hit the game-winning field goal on the next snap. After the game, Mahomes reflected on how he got through the game.
“I just tried to do whatever I could to win, and obviously, there were times where you could see that it wouldn’t let me do what I wanted to,” Mahomes said, via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. “But I was able to do enough on that last play to get the first down and get myself out of bounds and try to give Harrison the chance to win. Obviously, we got the flag, and [Ossai] pushed me, pushed me pretty late there. I definitely didn’t feel good. I think the worst one was when I fumbled. I tried to pick it up, and that was probably the worst I tweaked it during the game. They got me close as they could to 100 percent. Then I just battled through, and I’ll have a few more weeks to get it ready.”
Mahomes survived on Sunday at less than full strength and he and the rest of the Chiefs will be hoping the extended time off before the Super Bowl is enough time for things to get closer to normal.