defeated the Kansas City Chiefs Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 on Saturday to qualify for the AFC Championship Game But there are now concerns about the team’s fitness Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs’ star quarterback was brought down by the Jaguars’ Arden Key and Corey Peters in the first quarter and replays showed Mahomes’ ankle caught awkwardly under Key as both men fell to the ground.
Mahomes immediately reached for his right ankle and was seen limping to the sidelines to talk to his team coaches before returning to the field.
“Obviously I have a lot of adrenaline going on right now, so we’ll see how it feels,” Mahomes told reporters.
“But I’m going straight into treatment tonight and trying to do everything I can to be close to 100 percent by next week.
“Luckily for us, we played the early game on Saturday, so we got about half an extra day that I could let my ankle rest.”
Despite his injury, the 27-year-old stayed in the game for the rest of the first quarter but was visibly uncomfortable.
In the second quarter, with his ankle taped, Mahomes appeared to get into a heated argument with head coach Andy Reid and threw his jacket down as he headed to the locker room for evaluation.
Chad Henne took over at quarterback and went on to lead the Chiefs to touchdowns to take a 17-7 lead.
Although the team considered him doubtful of his return, Mahomes returned in the second half and led the team to victory, finishing the night with 195 passing yards and two touchdowns.
“I didn’t want to go get an x-ray or anything,” Mahomes added, explaining his argument with Reed.
“I told them I would do it at half-time but the coach, for my own good, made me go back there and take x-rays before getting back into the game.
“For a while, I thought I could play through it, but he said he wouldn’t take me back ‘so they might go get x-rays and if it’s negative or something I’ll take you back.’
“I went back out there, got an X-ray and was able to play and finish the game.”
The Chiefs are now in the AFC Championship Game for the fifth year in a row, but there are now doubts about Mahomes’ ability to play on January 29.
Their opponents will be either the Cincinnati Bengals or the Buffalo Bills, with both teams scheduled to play later on Sunday.
“He’s a tough kid. He’s a tough kid. He’s not committed to playing next Sunday,” Reed told reporters when asked about Mahomes.
“He wanted to compete and this is a tribute to him and his competitiveness.
“However, you have to make sure he’s okay, physically, he can protect himself and if he can’t he won’t be able to play.
“You have to go to the next guy. He’s crazy, and when I tell you he’s competitive, he’s very competitive.”
Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New York Giants 38-7 to advance to the team’s eighth NFC Championship game in franchise history and first since 2018.
The Eagles came out of the gates strong and finished stronger.
Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns while also adding a rushing touchdown. Eagles running backs Miles Sanders and Kenneth Ginwell combined to rush for 202 yards.
The Eagles will take on either the Dallas Cowboys or the San Francisco 49ers on January 29 for a spot in the Super Bowl Final on February 12.