Patrick Mahomes suffered the injury during the Kansas City Chiefs' divisional round victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs; Mahomes briefly left the game before returning in the second half, stating after the win he'd be "good to go" in Sunday's AFC Championship game
Wednesday 25 January 2023 22:30, UK
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed on Monday that Patrick Mahomes is dealing with a high ankle sprain, but added that the quarterback intends to still play in Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Mahomes said as much immediately after the Chiefs' 27-20 divisional round victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, in which he suffered the injury, defiantly telling reporters he would be "good to go".
Despite an MRI scan since confirming the high ankle sprain, Reid echoed Mahomes' sentiments when addressing the media on Monday.
"He's worked hard in the treatment and is doing okay," Reid said. "He told you guys. He mentioned to you that he's going to play. That's his mindset."
Reid noted that it's still too early in the process to know if Mahomes will practice with the team on Wednesday.
"As far as the reps, I'll have to see how he feels as we get ready for practice," he said. "We'll just take it day by day and see how he does."
As for whether Mahomes could play against the Bengals this weekend without practicing at all beforehand, Reid said: "I think so. He's never done that, so I don't know. I don't have the answer for you on that.''
Reid added that Mahomes' ankle injury "isn't quite as bad" as the one he suffered in the 2019 season opener against Jacksonville. He played the following week against the Raiders that season and threw for 443 yards and four TDs in a win.
This is also not the first time Mahomes has had to manage a significant injury during the postseason, with the star QB suffering from turf toe in the Chiefs' divisional round win over the Cleveland Browns two years ago.
A week later he completed 29 of 38 attempts to beat the Buffalo Bills 38-24 in the AFC Championship game, though he and the Chiefs would lose to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV before he then had surgery on his toe.
Mahomes sustained this injury to his right ankle in the first quarter of their win over the Jaguars after he was tackled by Jacksonville's Arden Key and Corey Peters. Key fell on Mahomes' right lower leg as the quarterback fell awkwardly to the ground.
He went to the locker room, allowing for backup Chad Henne to briefly take the reins, before returning in the second half.
Mahomes completed 4 of 7 passed for 50 yards in the third quarter and was 6 of 8 for 61 yards in the fourth, with a touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but he winced in pain at times in the second half and didn't scramble on any quarterback runs unless necessary.
The 27-year-old said of his ankle after leading the Chiefs to the AFC title game for a fifth-straight season: "It feels better than I thought it was going to be.
"Obviously, I have a lot of adrenaline going right now, so we'll see how it feels. But I'll hop right in the treatment and try to do whatever I can to be as close to 100 per cent by next week."
The Chiefs host the Bengals on Sunday night - live on Sky Sports NFL from 11.30pm - in a repeat of last year's AFC Championship game, which the Bengals won 27-24 in overtime. The winner will advance to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona on Sunday, February 12.
Kansas City face a significant hurdle in their attempts to reach a third Super Bowl in four years, with Cincinnati having come out on top in each of their last three meetings, including that Conference Championship meeting from a year ago.