It seems more and more likely Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will return to the lineup this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Mahomes has missed the last two games with the dislocated kneecap he suffered Week 7 on Thursday Night Football against the Denver Broncos.
Mahomes was reportedly close to playing against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday but was held back for one more game. On Sunday morning, FOX’s Jay Glazer revealed why Mahomes and the Chiefs were taking a more cautious approach.
Reason Mahomes isn’t playing today? Doc told them he had 40% chance of re-dislocating kneecap inside of 21 days but goes down to 10-15% after 21 days. Today is 17 days @NFLONFOX— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) November 3, 2019
As Glazer alludes to in his tweet, there will be a non-zero chance that Mahomes’ re-dislocates his kneecap for the rest of the season no matter how long the Chiefs wait. The probability of a re-injury is much lower 21 days after the injury, and the Titans game this Sunday would be 24 days.
If Mahomes and the Chiefs medical staff opt to correct the injury with MPFL (medial patellofemoral ligament) reconstructive surgery, that would likely occur shortly after the 2019 season. The recovery timetable for such a surgery would mean Mahomes would in all likelihood miss OTAs but be ready for training camp (4-6 months) — similar to the timeline of tight end Travis Kelce during this past offseason.
(Editor’s note: Our in-house injury expert, Aaron Borgmann, covered the injury extensively here).
On Monday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport suggested Mahomes would return Sunday against the Titans on Good Morning Football.
RAPOPORT: “Let’s start with Patrick Mahomes, who we saw looking extremely agile in an abbreviated celebration [Sunday] after Harrison Butker’s game-winning field goal. Thankfully, Butker didn’t touch Mahomes — didn’t want to alter him or stall his recovery. It is looking like there’s a real possibility that Patrick Mahomes comes back this week. It will be about 24 days from dislocating that kneecap. A really strong, really quick rehab. [He] kind of got close [Sunday] to be being out there, but obviously, in the end, it ended up being Matt Moore. Good chance we see Patrick Mahomes out there this Sunday.”
Despite all the emotion of a game-winning kick, Butker did indeed confirm he was careful when embracing Mahomes after the game.
“I was sprinting down — I think it was from my soccer background growing up when guys scored they would sprint the other way,” said a smiling Butker. “When I was going, I saw Patrick and I wanted to embrace him, but I was like, ‘No, he can’t get hurt.’”
The reporters in the room chuckled.
But in the grand scheme of things, Mahomes’ health is no laughing matter — the Chiefs need the reigning MVP back for the stretch run and their Super Bowl aspirations. All signs point to that happening this Sunday in Tennessee.