From timetable uncertainty after February surgery... to potentially doing “some stuff” in the offseason... to a “full go” at practice... to being able to play in a game on Thursday.
It is safe to say that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is continuing to be ahead of schedule as he rehabs and recovers from offseason surgery to repair the turf toe he suffered in last year’s Divisional Round win over the Cleveland Browns. Had there been a game on Thursday, June 3, Mahomes confirmed he would be participating.
“If there was a game, I would be able to play in it, I think,” he told the media via Zoom conference call after the team’s sixth voluntary organized team activity (OTA) session. “At the end of the day, there’s still some stuff I’m going to have to work through — I’m going to have to continue to rehab and continue to keep strengthening that stuff, but it’s good to be able to get out there a little earlier than the schedule had me and be able to get some work in.”
The work is key for Mahomes — especially in this offseason, as he projects to be playing behind at least four new offensive linemen when the season begins. When he began his career, the offensive linemen helped him learn Andy Reid’s system. Now he is enjoying the opportunity to teach them.
“When I first came into the league, I had a lot of veteran guys with Eric Fisher, Mitchell Schwartz and Mitch Morse — all these guys that were helping me when I was at the line of scrimmage,” described Mahomes, “helping me communicate and get us all on the same page — and then to be able now to have a new group of guys that obviously are extremely intelligent and know how to play the game of football and stuff like that, but to show how I communicate and how I do things at the line of scrimmage and us build that chemistry again. I think it’s really cool and it’s just going to really help us in the long run as we continue to learn each other and learn how each other thinks while we’re out there on the field.”
One of the many reasons Mahomes appreciates the 13 OTA practices is the team's willingness to attempt new ideas and concepts. Whereas training camp is more focused on installing the playbook and preparing for AFC West opponents (and the Cleveland Browns, the team they’ll play in their season-opener), the offseason works more like a football laboratory.
“The biggest thing is you get to experiment a little bit more,” added Mahomes. “When you get to training camp, you kind of have to be refined and refining things because you’re trying to get ready for the season against different teams and different defenses and stuff like that. That’s a big part of why we came in to do the OTAs.
“I know they’re are voluntary and everything like that, but we’re able to experiment and not go extremely hard but still be able to get some good work in and get the guys together, build that chemistry and be a part of the team.”
Reid has noted multiple times this offseason that the current on-field activities being more of a passing game allows Mahomes to do more — but the quarterback’s words on Thursday provided a good indication that once training camp begins in August, he should be 100% ready to do all that is asked.