Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes continues to play through the ankle sprain he suffered Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and at the beginning of games (after a week of treatment), he has looked like his usual self — making plays that nobody else in the NFL can.
That was no more apparent than in the Chiefs’ 31-24 loss to the Houston Texans Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Mahomes had a fantastic first quarter, leading the Chiefs to a 17-3 lead.
Then, early in in the second quarter, Texans linebacker Benardrick McKinney hit Mahomes as he threw an incomplete pass. Mahomes’ ankle twisted and his head bounced off the ground.
This play was the game.#Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes appears to re-injure his ankle and also smacks his head off the turf.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) October 14, 2019
Before: 10/16, 189 yards, 2 TDs (about 20 mins. of game time)
After: 9/19, 84 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (about 40 mins. game time) pic.twitter.com/ZqY0b2dTE1
Mahomes told reporters after the game he wasn’t sure his ankle was re-aggravated.
“I don’t know if I necessarily aggravated it, a big dude just fell on it,” he said of the play. “I think if it was hurt before or it wasn’t hurt, it would’ve hurt anyways from that guy falling on it.”
Mahomes was OK the rest of the way, but he never regained that first-quarter magnificence, and the Texans made it a game and won. Mahomes said he’s never thought about taking any time off over the past five weeks.
“If I felt like my ankle was affecting the team and the success of the offense, I would for sure move on,” he said. “At the same time I feel like I’m still able to move around, run, scramble, throw and we just haven’t executed at a high enough success rate as an offense.”
Reporters wondered if Mahomes is 100 percent.
“I feel like I’m good now, honestly,” added Mahomes. “I’m still able to scramble, I’m still able to run and do all those different things. Obviously, I’ll still get treatment and stuff like that, but I feel like I can still do everything I need to do.”
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was asked if he’s seen a difference in Mahomes’ mechanics.
“He’s done a pretty good job the last couple of weeks,” said Reid. “He’s made some nice throws. No, I haven’t. I’m not telling you it doesn’t hurt, but he’s been doing a nice job.”
With the Chiefs playing in just four days on Thursday Night Football, Mahomes will have less time to treat the ankle this week.
Whether they’re willing to admit it or not, the Chiefs have a major problem — one for which there is no obvious answer.