Chiefs fans held their collective breath during Kansas City’s playoff game against Jacksonville last weekend, as Patrick Mahomes went down in the first quarter when Arden Key fell onto his ankle, hobbling the star quarterback.
Mahomes, visibly frustrated, was escorted to the locker room briefly after the injury, but he returned to the game after just one drive for the Chiefs. Mahomes would play the rest of the game, but he was clearly hindered by the injury.
It’s been confirmed Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain, but he is expected play against the Bengals on Sunday. With that being said, it could be a serious influence on his mobility against a defensive line that has played very well to this point in the postseason. Combine that with the Bengals’ success against Mahomes in the past, and the status of his ankle is very much a factor in talking about this game.
Mahomes was a full participant in practice on both Wednesday and Thursday, so there’s no reason to think he won’t be a full go Sunday. However, there will be a lot of focus on the ankle and how the Bengals go after him.
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Is Patrick Mahomes playing vs. Bengals?
Mahomes suffered an ankle injury against the Jaguars, but he is expected to play against the Bengals Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.
The Chiefs were beaten by the Bengals in last year’s conference title game and the regular season this year, so revenge is undoubtedly on Mahomes’ mind. However, he sat out just one drive against the Jaguars before returning to the game.
The Chiefs will have to keep an eye on Mahomes’ ankle in this game, as mobility is important against a Bengals defense that has been hyper-aggressive to this point.
Mahomes, however, is a full participant in practice this week, indicating he feels comfortable with where he’s at.
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Patrick Mahomes injury update
Mahomes was questionable to return initially after his injury, but he would come back after just one drive (in which Chad Henne led the Chiefs 98 yards downfield for a touchdown).
An MRI showed no structural damage to Mahomes, and on Monday it was said he had a high ankle sprain.
Just got out of #chiefs practice. We watched Patrick Mahomes throw three passes. Here they are all three. Next time we see him on the field will be at Arrowhead Sunday vs the #bengals pic.twitter.com/0VePAnUmqK
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 27, 2023
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Who is the Chiefs backup quarterback?
Chiefs (and Jaguars) fans got a good look at the backup last week, when Chad Henne came into the game and went 5 of 7 passing for 23 yards and a touchdown on a 98-yard TD drive.
Henne, a longtime NFL quarterback, has settled well into his role as a backup. After starting early in his NFL career, the Michigan graduate backed up Blake Bortles in the Jaguars’ 2017 AFC Championship Game run before absconding to the Chiefs to backup Mahomes.
Henne has been with the Chiefs for the past four years, and has started one game in that time.
He showed on Sunday he’s ready to take the reins if needed, but the Chiefs obviously won’t be looking to go to him unless out of absolute necessity. Shane Buechele follows Henne on the depth chart. The 2020 draftee is yet to take an NFL snap.