Chiefs’ Mahomes sustained high ankle sprain

Published 6:50 pm Sunday, January 22, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes sustained a right high ankle sprain in the Kansas City Chiefs’ divisional playoff win over the Jaguars, a person familiar with the nature of the injury told The Associated Press on Sunday, though the All-Pro quarterback expects to play against Cincinnati in next week’s AFC championship game.

Mahomes was hurt late in the first quarter Saturday when a Jacksonville defender landed on him. X-rays taken during the game came back negative, and Mahomes returned after halftime to lead Kansas City to the 27-20 victory.

Mahomes underwent an MRI exam Sunday to better determine the extent of the injury, the person told AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce the results. The tests showed no structural damage.

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“Obviously, I have a lot of adrenaline going right now. We’ll see how it feels but I’ll hop right into treatment tonight and try to do whatever I can to be as close to 100% by next week,” Mahomes said late Saturday. “Luckily for us we played the early game on Saturday, so we get an extra almost half a day that I can let that ankle rest.”

The Chiefs will face the Bengals, who beat the Bills 27-10 in their divisional game Sunday, in a rematch of last year’s AFC title game. Cincinnati rallied from an early 21-3 deficit for a 27-24 overtime victory and a spot in the Super Bowl.

Mahomes said Saturday night that his ankle already felt “better than I thought it would feel now.”

Still, high ankle sprains are notoriously difficultto overcome. Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire sustained one in late November and landed on injured reserve, and only last week did he finally return to practice.

“I don’t want to jump to things right now, but let’s just see how it goes here the next couple days,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Saturday night. “It’s going to be sore, I know, but let’s see where he is at. He’s had this before and he was able to keep pushing through, actually against Jacksonville whenever — a couple of years ago, same type of deal.

“The main thing is that he’s safe,” Reid said, “or as safe as you can be on a football field. That’s the important thing.”

Mahomes missed most of the second quarter against the Jaguars but still threw for 195 yards and two scores. The second of them was a throw to Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the fourth quarter that ultimately provided the winning margin.

While Mahomes was out, backup Chad Henne led the Chiefs on a 12-play, 98-yard touchdown drive.

“I’ve got to tell you, 15 is tough as nails, being able to come back in,” Chiefs safety Justin Reid said. “Even staying in after the injury and handing the ball off while he’s basically hobbling on one leg. The guy — that just shows you his love for the game and his character and his will to just be out there for his team and doing everything he can to help us win.”