Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is brought down by Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Mack Wilson (51) during the second half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mahomes would suffer an injury on the play.  Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Mahomes remains in concussion protocol; status uncertain

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol Tuesday but is expected to practice Wednesday, ESPN reported.

There is optimism among the Chiefs that Mahomes will play in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills, but the former NFL MVP’s status is still uncertain.

ESPN reported Mahomes cleared “some big steps” on Monday. Mahomes is also dealing with a toe issue, per the report. Mahomes was limping in Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns prior to leaving the game with a concussion midway through the third quarter.

Mahomes passed for 255 yards and one touchdown against the Browns. Chad Henne replaced Mahomes and completed 6 of 8 passes for 66 yards and an interception in the end zone. Henne also rushed twice for 12 yards.

Mahomes must complete a five-step process before getting the OK to return.

“Because of the protocol, it’s a no-brainer from the coach’s standpoint,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Monday. “I mean, you don’t have to think about it, you just have to go forward and make sure you have an answer if he’s there, have an answer if he’s not there. I can’t tell you from a medical standpoint where he’s at. I mean, I don’t know that. So, that’s their decision and I just follow it.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns during the first half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes out with 3rd quarter concussion

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was ruled out of Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday after a third-quarter hit left him with a concussion.

Mahomes kept the ball while running an option play on third down and 1. He faked a pitch and try to dive for first-down yardage as he was met by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson. Mahomes’ head appeared to get pulled to the turf as Wilson brought him to the ground.

The reigning NFL MVP needed help getting to his feet before he was taken into the team’s medical tent on the sideline. Mahomes then ran into the Chiefs locker room.

Mahomes was 21-of-30 passing for 255 yards and one touchdown when he left the game. He also had 14 rushing yards on three carries.

Backup quarterback Chad Henne entered the game as the Chiefs converted a fourth-and-1 pitch to running back Darrel Williams that gained 12 yards.

The drive stalled at the Cleveland 15-yard line with Harrison Butker kicking a 33-yard field goal to give the Chiefs a 22-10 lead.

After the kick, Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill appeared to shove wide receivers coach Greg Lewis but Lewis appeared to be laughing about the incident immediately after it happened.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) and Chad Henne (4) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs QB Henne to start vs. Chargers

Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes will receive a breather in this weekend’s regular-season finale against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers.

Chad Henne will start Sunday for the Chiefs (14-1), who have clinched the top seed in the AFC.

“Chad will go ahead and play, yeah,” Reid said on Wednesday. “And there’s a good chance that Matt (Moore) is up, but we’ll see when it’s all said and done how that all works out.”

Henne, 35, will start his first game since the 2014 season, when he played for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He has logged 22 offensive snaps in two games this season, completing 5 of 6 passes for 30 yards. He also rushed for a touchdown in the Chiefs’ 43-16 victory over the Denver Broncos on Oct. 25.

Mahomes, 25, finishes the season with a career-high 390 completions for an NFL-leading 4,740 yards with 38 touchdowns and six interceptions. The former NFL MVP also rushed for a career-high 308 yards with two scores.

–Field Level Media

Oct 5, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes before a NFL game against the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Mahomes: Postgame hug a ‘mental lapse’

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes shared a brief postgame hug with New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore after the two teams met Monday night in Kansas City.

On Wednesday, the day it was revealed Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19, Mahomes addressed their encounter, calling it a “mental lapse.”

The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that players for both teams wore contact tracers during the game — a 26-10 win for the Chiefs — and that no one in the Chiefs organization had been notified that they should isolate because of prolonged contact with someone who had tested positive.

“I think you just have to trust in the process and the protocols that are set in place,” Mahomes said. “Obviously, knowing that I went up to him after the game and just getting the high-five like I’ve done my whole career and not thinking about it.

“It was a little bit of a mental lapse, just trying to show sportsmanship and stuff like that, but I feel like the protocols in place are good.”

Kansas City fans, remembering the postgame moment, took to social media to express fears for the safety of their beloved young quarterback after hearing Gilmore tested positive, and Mahomes tried to calm their jittery nerves.

“I’ll try to keep away from that and try not to do it again,” said Mahomes, 25, who won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 2018 and followed it with a Super Bowl championship the following season.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed before the season to maintain social distancing and limit postgame interactions, but that agreement has not been enforced.

Mahomes said Rick Burkholder, the team’s vice president of sports medicine and performance, chatted with the players about the protocols.

“Rick reminded guys after the game, and he also reminded guys today in our meetings — the protocols and the different stuff we have to do in the building and during the games,” Mahomes said. “I think as long as we listen to those protocols, we can keep from hopefully having any outbreaks or anything like that. Keep it to an isolated incident and hopefully be able to go out there and play the sport that we love every single day.”

The Chiefs (4-0) are scheduled to host the Las Vegas Raiders (2-2) on Sunday. The Raiders put defensive tackle Maurice Hurst on the reserve/COVID list on Tuesday. Chiefs practice squad quarterback Jordan Ta’amu also is on the list.

–Field Level Media