The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 on Saturday to advance to the AFC Championship Game, but now there are concerns over Patrick Mahomes’ fitness.
Chiefs star quarterbacks Arden Key and Corey Peters went down in the first quarter and replays showed Mahomes’ ankle caught awkwardly under Key as both men fell to the ground.
Mahomes immediately sprained his right ankle and was seen on the sidelines talking to the team’s trainers before returning to the field.
“He’s obviously got a lot of adrenaline going right now, so we’ll see how he feels,” Mahomes told reporters.
But I’m looking forward to the treatment tonight and I’ll try to do everything I can to get closer to 100 percent next week.
“Fortunately we played the previous game on Saturday, so we had half a day to rest the ankle.”
Despite the injury, the 27-year-old remained in the game for the rest of the first quarter and was clearly in discomfort.
In the second quarter, with his ankle taped, Mahomes appeared to have a heated conversation with head coach Andy Reid and threw off his jacket as he headed to the locker room for evaluation.
Chad Henne took over at quarterback and proceeded to lead the Chiefs to a touchdown to take a 17-7 lead.
Despite being listed as questionable by the team to return, Mahomes came back in the second half and finished the night with 195 yards passing and two touchdowns to lead the team to victory.
“I didn’t want to go get X-rays or anything. I just wanted to keep playing,” Mahomes added, explaining his argument with Reid.
“I told them at half-time that I would do it, but the coach, in my best interest, made me go back there and get that X-ray before I got back into the game.
“I thought I could play in it for a while, but he said he wouldn’t let me back in. ‘So I’ll get that X-ray and if it’s negative or whatever, I’ll give it back to you.’
“I was able to run over there, get an X-ray and play and finish the game.”
The Chiefs have now reached the AFC Championship Game for the fifth straight year, but now there are doubts over Mahomes’ ability to play on Jan. 29.
Their opponent will be either the Cincinnati Bengals or the Buffalo Bills, both teams scheduled to play later on Sunday.
“He’s a tough kid. He wanted to be out there,” Reid told reporters when asked about Mahomes, who is not scheduled to play next Sunday.
“He wanted to compete and this is a credit to him and his competitiveness.
“But you’ve got to make sure he’s OK, physically OK, where he can protect himself and if he can’t, he can’t play.
“You have to move on to the next guy. He’s a tough nut and when I tell you he’s competitive, he’s very competitive.
Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants 38-7 to advance to the team’s eighth NFC Championship Game in franchise history and first since 2018.
The Eagles came out of the gate strong and finished even stronger.
Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts also had a rushing touchdown, throwing for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Eagles running backs Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell combined for 202 yards.
The Eagles will face either the Dallas Cowboys or the San Francisco 49ers on January 29 for a place in the Super Bowl Final on February 12.