The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes went through a morning walkthrough on Wednesday and intends to practice as usual, raising expectations that the All-Pro quarterback will not be slowed by his sprained ankle in this weekend’s AFC title game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Indeed on Wednesday, when asked about the Bengals game, Mahomes sounded bullish.
“AFC championship week,” he said. “Ready to go.”
Mahomes was hurt late in the first quarter of their divisional win over Jacksonville last Saturday, when Jaguars pass rusher Arden Key landed on him. X-rays taken during the game came back negative, and Mahomes returned in the second half to lead his team to a 27-20 victory and a spot in the Chiefs’ fifth straight conference title game.
“It’s doing good,” Mahomes said. “I’ve done a few days of treatment, a few days of rehab. Excited to get on the practice field and kind of test it out and see where I’m at. But it’s feeling good so far.
“I felt better than I thought I was going to be after the game. Moving on it during the game definitely hurt. But after the game, I was able to rest it and kind of ice it up and do different stuff like that. I felt in a little bit better position and obviously the next morning felt a little bit better, and then I’ve continued to get better throughout the week, so we’ll see how I feel today at practice.”
Mahomes also said he was wary of aggravating the injury.
“I’ll have to find ways to be able to push off and be able to still make the throws the right way,” he said. “I’ll push it a little bit today and then the next day and then the next day again and see what I can do then. Not reaggravate the injury, obviously, but push it to see what I’ll be able to do on Sunday.”
Mahomes said the injury is similar to one he played through early in the 2019 season, when he came back the following week to throw four touchdown passes in a win over the Raiders. The only difference is it’s his right, rather than left, ankle.
It’s also not as bad as a toe injury that Mahomes had earlier in his career.
“He had a couple injuries in college he fought through,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “In the NFL, with all the games you play, very seldom do you get to this point without having something. That’s just how it goes.”
Reid said he doesn’t anticipate holding Mahomes back in practice this week.
“Most likely he won’t just do a little. I don’t think I’m going to have to go there with that,” Reid said. “I may have to pull him back a little bit. But knowing him, I think he’s going to try to do everything and we’ll see what he does.”