The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 on Saturday to advance to the AFC championship game but there is now concern over the fitness of Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs’ star quarterback was brought down by Jaguars’ Arden Key and Corey Peters in the first quarter and replays showed Mahomes’ ankle getting caught awkwardly under Key as both men fell to the ground.
Mahomes instantly reached for his right ankle and was seen limping to the sidelines to speak to his team’s coaches before hobbling back onto the field.
“Obviously, I have a lot of adrenaline going right now, so we’ll see how it feels,” Mahomes told reporters.
“But I’ll hop right in the treatment tonight and try to do whatever I can to be as close to 100 percent by next week.
“Luckily for us, we played the early game on Saturday, so we get an extra almost half a day that I can let that ankle rest.”
Despite his injury, the 27-year-old stayed in the game for the rest of the first quarter but he was in obvious discomfort.
In the second quarter, with his ankle tapped up, Mahomes appeared to get into a heated discussion 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 a touchdown to take a 17-7 lead.
Despite the team listing him as questionable to return, Mahomes came back in the second half and led the team to the victory, ending the night with 195 yards passing and two touchdowns.
“I didn’t want to go get the X-Rays or whatever it was. I just wanted to continue to play,” Mahomes added, explaining his argument with Reid.
“I told them I’d do it at halftime but the coach, in the best interest of me, made me go back there and get that X-Ray before coming back into the game.
“For a while, I thought I could play through it but he said he would not put me back in ‘so might as well go get that X-Ray and if it’s negative or whatever I’ll put you back in.’
“I ran back there, got the X-Ray and was able to play and finish the game.”
The Chiefs have now reached the AFC Championship game for the fifth consecutive year but there are now doubts about Mahomes’ ability to play on January 29.
Their opponent will be either the Cincinnati Bengals or the Buffalo Bills, with both teams set to play later on Sunday.
“He’s a tough kid. He wanted to be in there,” Reid told reporters when asked about Mahomes, not committing to him playing next Sunday.
“He wanted to be competitive and that’s a tribute to him and his competitiveness.
“However, you got to make sure he’s okay, physically okay, where he can protect himself and if he can’t then he can’t play.
“You have to go to the next guy. He’s a tough nut and, when I tell you he is competitive, he’s very 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 the first since 2018.
The Eagles came out of the gates strong and finished even stronger.
Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns while adding a rushing touchdown as well. Eagles running backs Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell combined to rush for 202 yards.
The Eagles will face either the Dallas Cowboys or the San Francisco 49ers on January 29 for a place in the Super Bowl final on February 12.