Kansas City’s quarterback injured his right leg during the first quarter of the Divisional Round.
Near the end of the first quarter in the Kansas City Chiefs’ Divisional Round playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, quarterback Patrick Mahomes got sandwiched between a couple of defenders on a hit and came up limping. After hobbling around a bit, he exited to the sideline during a timeout and received some preliminary attention from the Chiefs’ staff before re-entering the game. He was visibly limited for the remainder of the drive, which ended in a field goal. A closer look at the hit on Mahomes by Jacksonville defensive lineman Arden Key can be seen below:
Mahomes got his right ankle area taped up on the sideline as backup quarterback Chad Henne got loose just in case. The 27-year-old star signal-caller ultimately headed off to the locker room during the second quarter for more evaluation on his right leg. Henne entered the game for Kansas City and began a drive with 9:59 left in the half from the team’s own 2-yard line.
Initial news on Mahomes’s specific injury wasn’t made available, although speculation on social media ranged from classic ankle sprains to a possible high-ankle sprain and MCL sprain mechanism. At the time he exited the game, Mahomes had completed 12 of 15 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. While Kansas City was on the field with Henne under center, Mahomes came back out from the locker room and began throwing the ball on the sideline. He was ruled questionable to return by the team with just under six minutes left in the half. Former Chiefs offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz speculated via his Twitter account what the team’s process could look like in light of Mahomes’s apparent injury.
The Chiefs are no strangers to Mahomes being replaced by Henne in a pivotal game, as Mahomes was forced out of Kansas City’s 2021 Divisional Round game against the Cleveland Browns with a head/neck ailment after he couldn’t maintain balance following a hit. Henne completed six of eight passes for 66 yards and an interception, but the Chiefs were able to hold for the win and eventually advanced all the way to the Super Bowl with Mahomes back in the fold.
HALFTIME UPDATE: Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, X-rays came back negative for Mahomes at halftime. Rapoport adds, “it does appear to be a high-ankle sprain.” Mahomes then re-entered the game to start the second half for Kansas City.
POSTGAME UPDATE: Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Mahomes will undergo an MRI on Sunday to “gain further clarity” on his ankle injury.