'Tis but a Scratch: Mahomes' Performances After Injuries Provide Hope to an Otherwise Dark Situation
In Saturday's divisional round playoff game against the Jaguars, Patrick Mahomes's ankle was landed on awkwardly (some would say in a dirty fashion, but I'm not sure about that) by Jaguars' linebacker Arden Key. Mahomes got up with a noticeable limp wincing in pain with each step he took. He still managed to play out the drive and come back in after getting checked out in the locker room while Chad Henne slung it around the yard (and Isiah Pacheco I guess had a bit to do with it) on a 98-yard drive that ended in a touchdown. He would end up finishing that game with a W for his team, 27-20. X-rays revealed no severe damage to his ankle, merely a high ankle sprain, which to us mere mortals is a death sentence but to Patrick, it's nothing new.
In fact, in a way the injury is sort of a blessing. Orlando Brown Jr. said Mahomes's injury "Motivates us to play harder, especially if he's out there playing too." According to history, that checks out, and it even causes Mahomes to play harder. Coming off of injury, Mahomes has been outstanding. Take the divisional round two years ago against the Browns. Mahomes sustained a minor concussion and leg injury that could have resulted in him missing a crucial game against Buffalo in the AFC Championship. Nonetheless, Mahomes was out there, and he showed that he could not be stopped. He went 29-38 for 325 yards, 3 TDs and no interceptions for a passer rating of 127.6 (statmuse.com) Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Speaking of Jacksonville even, when Mahomes got hurt against them in 2019, after coming back he soared to a victory against the Raiders, racking up 30 completions, 443 yards, and 4 touchdowns on his way to a 131.2 passer rating. Not only does Mahomes fighting through injury make the team stronger, it makes him a stronger competitor too. Not saying we should go out and bludgeon Mahomes every week, but stranger philosophies have been introduced in the NFL...
All joking aside, Chiefs fans should worry not. Patrick Mahomes will be his same old self come Sunday, shoot he may even be better than his same old self if history holds up. A high ankle sprain should still be taken care of, but with the medical staff that the Chiefs have and Mahomes's ability to bounce back after injury, there truly isn't much to worry about unless there is something serious that they missed which is doubtful. The Chiefs have some of the best trainers and medical staff in the league, and how players play after injury (I know many of you remember the knee injuries Jamaal Charles had) speaks volumes about their performance. It will be a tough game against one of the best teams in the NFL in the Bengals, the offensive line will be tested, but after letting their star QB go down with injury, don't think they won't be playing with a chip on their shoulder. Don't think Mr. MVP himself will be taking it soft either.
Burn Notice: 8/10 An IcyHot a day keeps the soreness away