March 31, 2023

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Mahomes practising regardless of ankle damage: ‘I’m prepared’ for AFC title sport

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes walked by Arrowhead Stadium as if nothing was amiss Wednesday, his sprained proper ankle hardly hampering the All-Professional quarterback as he started making ready for the AFC title sport towards the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mahomes went by a traditional morning walkthrough after which headed out for a day follow with the remainder of the Chiefs, 4 days after a Jacksonville cross rusher landed on his ankle and compelled him to hobble off the sector in ache.

“AFC championship week,” Mahomes stated with a smile. “I’m able to go.”

Mahomes was damage late within the first quarter of the Chiefs’ 27-20 win over the Jaguars on Saturday. X-rays through the sport got here again damaging, and Mahomes returned within the second half to steer the Chiefs to a spot of their fifth straight convention title sport — and a Sunday night time rematch with the Bengals, who beat them for a spot in final yr’s Tremendous Bowl.

Mahomes started getting remedy after the sport, and an MRI on Sunday confirmed no structural harm.

“The previous few days has been an all-day factor,” Mahomes stated, “the place you’re doing remedy and rehab and watching movie. You’re attempting to ensure you’re ready for the Bengals, an incredible soccer group, mentally and bodily.”

Mahomes jogged round with none obvious limp Wednesday within the transient portion of follow open to native reporters.

He stated the damage is much like one he performed by early within the 2019 season, when Mahomes got here again the next week to throw 4 landing passes in a win over the Raiders. The one distinction is it’s the alternative ankle.

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It’s additionally not as dangerous as a toe damage that Mahomes had earlier in his profession.

“He had a pair accidents in faculty he fought by,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid stated. “Within the NFL, with all of the video games you play, very seldom do you get thus far with out having one thing. That’s simply the way it goes.”

Reid stated he doesn’t anticipate holding Mahomes again in follow this week, although it’s attainable that Chad Henne will get some extra reps in follow. The 37-year-old backup led the Chiefs on a 12-play, 98-yard landing drive towards the Jaguars whereas Mahomes was getting checked out late within the first half.

“Most definitely he received’t simply perform a little. I don’t suppose I’m going to should go there with that,” Reid stated of Mahomes. “I could have to tug him again a little bit bit. However figuring out him, I feel he’s going to attempt to do every thing.”

Mahomes additionally expects to follow like regular, although he admitted the plan may change if there may be any soreness after a exercise. The Chiefs additionally follow Thursday and Friday, although the ultimate one of many week is extra like a walkthrough.

“We’ll see all through the week,” Mahomes stated. “I’ve performed restricted stuff in a small field of what I can do, however I’ll push in the present day and the subsequent day and the subsequent day once more, to not reaggravate the damage however see what I can do.”

Requested what it meant to see his ailing chief take the sector, Chiefs broad receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster replied: “It just about confirmed how a lot coronary heart he has for his group and the way a lot love for everybody.”

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“Even this previous sport when he was going by his entire course of,” Smith-Schuster stated, “we may see he was combating.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Mahomes was introduced as one of many finalists for The Related Press 2022 NFL MVP and Offensive Participant of the Yr awards. The 2018 MVP had maybe one of the best season of his profession, throwing for a career-best 5,250 yards with a league-leading 41 landing passes and simply 12 interceptions.

Mahomes is winless in three tries towards Bengals counterpart Joe Burrow, although, which incorporates final yr’s AFC title sport, when the Chiefs quarterback performed poorly down the stretch they usually blew a 21-3 lead in a 27-24 additional time defeat.

“It’s about being a competitor. You need to be on the market, particularly in these video games,” Mahomes stated. “You get to gameday, you simply should deal with the sport. That’s what I’ll attempt to do. Attempt to put together my physique one of the best I can.”

NOTES: WR Mecole Hardman (belly damage) practiced Wednesday after lacking all final week. He has not performed since Nov. 6, and a collection of setbacks since coming back from injured reserve have stored him off the sector. … TE Jody Fortson (elbow) and RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire additionally practiced. Each returned from IR final week however neither has been added to the lively roster. “There’s an opportunity, both one,” Reid stated of their potential to play Sunday. “Possibly extra Fortson than Clyde.”

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