KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes completed a full week of practice Friday with a right ankle injury, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. Announced his All-Pro quarterback readiness for the AFC Championship Game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Mahomes came back after halftime with a badly sprained ankle in the first quarter of last week’s divisional win over Jacksonville. That puts the Chiefs in their fifth straight AFC title game, where they face the AFC North champions Sunday night in a rematch of last year’s overtime loss to the Bengals.
“He looked good,” Reid said. “I mean, he’s walking around fine. He’s going to hang out.”
Mahomes had perhaps his best season yet, throwing for a career-high 5,250 yards and a league-leading 41 touchdown passes and receiving 49 of the 50 first-place votes in All-Pro voting open. He was also one of five finalists for the league’s MVP.
“I feel like I can still do a lot,” he said this week. “We’ll see that we’re getting closer and we’ll see that in the game. In those moments of the game (in practice) you can’t quite do what you’re going to do, but all I can do is try as hard as I can. Prepare yourself and then when we go into the game, you hope the adrenaline rush kind of takes over.”
Mahomes, who has vowed to play from the moment the Chiefs beat the Jaguars last Saturday night, strode to the podium outside the Kansas City locker and declared his ankle felt better than expected. Mahomes began treatment that night, and a precautionary MRI performed the next day showed no structural damage.
Mahomes’ right ankle, like his left, was untaped when he headed to the indoor practice field on Wednesday and Thursday. He was bouncing around in his final outdoor workout on Friday, and nothing seemed amiss.
“We’re preparing for Patrick Mahomes like he’s 100 percent,” Bengals pass rusher Sam Hubbard said, “because I’m sure he’s going to be 100 percent. That’s all you can do. of.
The Chiefs have been vague about their game plan against Cincinnati, which has beaten them three times in the past 13 months, including the decisive AFC title game last January. But Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will likely adjust it to protect Mahomes, who has been incredible at stretching games with his disruptive abilities.
Mahomes has suffered a lot of injuries in recent years, and this isn’t the first time in the postseason arena.
Mahomes was placed on concussion protocol in a divisional win over the Browns two years ago, though he returned the following week to lead Kansas City to an AFC championship win over Buffalo. Mahomes is also dealing with a turf toe problem, which he said this week was the most painful injury he’s suffered in his time in the NFL.
Mahomes eventually underwent surgery after the Chiefs lost to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.
I’ve got a lot of good people around me,” Mahomes said, praising the Chiefs’ training staff and his personal trainer, Bobby Stroupe. “We’ve done a lot of ankle, knee and foot work, especially after the last few Injured. I think that prepares me to bounce back quickly here and be in a good position. “
Mahomes also has support from players around the league, including Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
“I have a great relationship with him now, and he’s given me a lot of advice,” Mahomes said. “Why wouldn’t you want to learn from GOAT? So anytime someone like that wants to give me advice, I’ll take it, it’s nice to see someone you’ve grown up watching being able to talk to you on that platform.”
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