Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes ended any notions that he would not be available for Sunday’s high-stakes AFC Championship game.
Shortly after coach Andy Reid told reporters that Mahomes would likely be a full-go in Wednesday’s practice, the quarterback stepped to the podium and revealed that his injured ankle was improving.
“It’s doing good. A few days of treatment, a few days of rehab,” the MVP candidate said. “Excited to be on the practice field and kind of test it out and see where I’m at. But, it’s feeling good so far.”
Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain during the first half of Saturday’s 27-20 divisional round playoff win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He started receiving treatment for the sprain shortly after the victory and has maintained that he will be on the football field for the AFC Championship.
“I was able to do some extra testing, just to make sure everything was good the night after the game. And then get a few things done to help the treatment kind of start off,” Mahomes said. “And then the next few days has kind of been an all-day thing where you’re either doing treatment, or rehab, or watching film.”
“But it’s a full-day thing where you’re trying to make sure you’re obviously prepared for the Bengals and the great football team — mentally and physically.”
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Mahomes was able to return to the game against Jacksonville in the second half, but his style of play noticeably changed. During the regular season he led the league in passes from outside the pocket, but he stayed in between the tackles for the remainder of the divisional round game.
In Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season, Mahomes sprained his left ankle, while Saturday’s injury was to his right ankle.
“Especially when you have different ankles at the quarterback position, you’re planting and throwing off different stuff,” Mahomes said. “So, the last one, it was the leg that I landed on, so I had to find other ways to throw where I could land and keep it in the right spot. This time, I’ll have to find ways to be able to push off and still be able to make throws the right ways. So, definitely similar in a sense but different limitations and stuff that I’ll have to work through.”
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The five-time Pro Bowler noted that his right ankle is feeling better than anticipated, but acknowledged he would have to work around the injury during Sunday’s game.
“I’ll push a little bit today, and then the next day, and then the next day again and see what I can do to not re-aggravate the injury, obviously, but to push it to see what I’ll be able to do on Sunday,” Mahomes said.