Every sign points to Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu taking the field for the AFC championship game on Sunday, beginning with his official practice status on Thursday. Mathieu entered the concussion protocol after seven snaps against the Buffalo Bills and did not play the rest of the game.
After missing practice entirely on Wednesday, Mathieu was listed as a full participant on Thursday on the game’s official injury report. Still, he is not out of the woods yet.
“Tyrann practiced [Thursday] and did a nice job; he’s not out of the protocol,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. “He’s got to test after the practice, that was the next step, but he was out there doing everything and did a nice job with it... He moved around well. He was fine [Thursday], so he’s just got to go through the rest of the protocol here and finish that up and make sure he’s OK as he goes through it.”
Without cornerback Rashad Fenton — whom the Chiefs like to bring in on the outside while pushing L’Jarius Sneed inside in nickel looks — the Chiefs positioned Mathieu at slot cornerback in three of the seven snaps.
“It took us a little by surprise obviously when Tyrann got hurt early,” said defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “We did have a package we were going to do something a little different. Had to throw the thing completely out that we had — especially for Buffalo.”
The Chiefs managed to hold wide receiver Stefon Diggs and tight end Dawson Knox to a combined 16 yards, but second-year receiver Gabriel Davis went off for 201 yards and four touchdowns as part of a 329-yard passing attack.
“That set us back a little bit, but then it’s like we’ve always said, somebody’s got to step up and the guys did that,” added Spagnuolo. “We didn’t play nearly the defense we wanted to when it was all said and done, but we navigated through it — and fortunately for us, our offense made some plays, and we’re still playing football.”
I got this!— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) January 25, 2022
...they’re still playing football with Tyrann Mathieu.