Oct 24, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts on the sideline against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes clears concussion protocol after knee to head

Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes left Sunday’s 27-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans with a head injury, but coach Andy Reid said afterward that Mahomes cleared concussion protocol.

On a fourth-and-18 midway through the fourth quarter, Mahomes took a defender’s knee to the front of his helmet during a sack. He needed help off the field.

With the game out of reach for Kansas City, backup quarterback Chad Henne took over for the Chiefs’ final drive. Reid said it was his decision not to let Mahomes back into the game despite passing concussion tests.

Mahomes told reporters postgame that he felt “fine now.”

The former NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion went 20-for-35 for 206 passing yards and an interception Sunday. He also led the Chiefs with 35 rushing yards on six carries.

–Field Level Media

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) goes under center Creed Humphrey (52) against the Minnesota Vikings during the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs to debut retooled O-line in opener vs. Browns

The most significant concern buzzing around the Kansas City Chiefs preseason camp involved improvement needed along the offensive line.

In particular, better protection is a must to spare Patrick Mahomes from being battered like he was in a lopsided Super Bowl defeat. Results from a complete overhaul up front will begin to surface Sunday when Kansas City opens the season at home against the Cleveland Browns.

“I think that whole offensive line group has really brought out the best in each other and competed this entire camp. I’m excited to go out there and show it off Week 1,” said Mahomes, who was pressured a withering 29 times by Tampa Bay defenders in a 31-9 Super Bowl beatdown.

Further development along the line, which added the likes of Pro Bowler Orlando Brown Jr. and a second-round rookie, Creed Humphrey, could well determine Kansas City’s fate. The Chiefs will bid for a third consecutive AFC Championship and sixth straight AFC West crown.

Weapons galore return for Kansas City’s prolific attack, beginning with Mahomes, who carries a touchdown-to-interception ratio of plus-90 as he enters his fifth season. He trailed only Deshaun Watson in passing yards last season with 4,740, while Travis Kelce set an NFL receiving record for tight ends with 1,416 yards.

Tyreek Hill remains a speedy mismatch Mahomes looks to exploit, while Clyde Edwards-Helaire is coming off an 803-yard rushing output as a rookie. Edwards-Helaire declared himself “100 percent healthy” after suffering an ankle injury in the preseason.

The Chiefs have won 14 consecutive games in September, a month that also finds Mahomes 10-0 as a starter. However, Kansas City coach Andy Reid knows that the offensive line will be a focal point, particularly with three rookies manning the center and guard positions against a stout Cleveland defensive front.

“That’ll be a fun one to watch because their interior players are real good and experienced,” Reid said. “It’ll be a great experience for our guys to have the opportunity to play against them, being as young as they are.”

Last season, the Browns advanced to the playoffs for the third time in 27 seasons, going 11-5. The Chiefs ousted them in the divisional round 22-17 despite an injury suffered by Mahomes.

Keeping Mahomes from engineering a ton of possessions could be a strategic move for Cleveland, having finished third in the NFL in rushing last season behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who suffered a torn ACL last October, appears healthy and will be one of the receivers Baker Mayfield targets. The former Heisman Trophy winner improved his passing efficiency a year ago by completing 62.8 percent of his attempts, with 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions.

“We have the bread and butter, the fundamentals, the schemes that we know we’re good at,” Mayfield said. “We need to keep building off those and do those extremely well.”

A defensive makeover for the Browns included the signing of six free agents headed by Jadeveon Clowney, as well as two draft picks expected to start in the opener, Greg Newsome II and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

“The people we’ve brought in and the pieces, culture-wise, it’s been great for the team and franchise,” Mayfield said. “It needs to continue to head that way, and that’s one of my biggest jobs.”

An illness prevented Clowney from practicing at the beginning of the week, though he tested negative for COVID-19.

The Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu remained in COVID-19 protocol to begin weekly workouts. Reid indicated Mathieu would not necessarily need to practice to play Sunday, if cleared. Another defender, Frank Clark, is dealing with a strained hamstring.

–Field Level Media

Aug 9, 2021; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass during training camp at Missouri Western State University. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes will play first quarter in preseason opener

Coming off back-to-back Super Bowls, All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes will get the start in Kansas City’s preseason opener Saturday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Mahomes – and all the first-teamers – will play the first quarter, second stringers get the second quarter and so on.

The Chiefs also feature an overhauled offensive line, a point of focus for coach Andy Reid.

“That continuity, communication, working together through different works, functioning,” Reid said Thursday when asked what he’s looking for from the unit.

Mahomes is coming off February surgery to repair his toe. He sustained a turf toe early in the playoffs but said last month it’s “feeling great.”

Mahomes has a 38-8 career regular-season record as a starter in four NFL seasons, all with the Chiefs. Last year, he completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,740 yards with 38 touchdowns and six interceptions. For his career, he has a 66 percent completion rate with 14,152 passing yards, 114 TD passes and 24 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Mar 21, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (left) alongside teammate Travis Kelce in a suite during the Phoenix Suns game against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes: ‘The toe’s feeling great’

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes provided a promising update on his surgically repaired toe.

Mahomes reiterated Thursday that he feels healthy following an offseason operation. In fact, he was comfortable enough to grab his clubs in preparation for the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament in South Lake Tahoe, Nev.

“The toe’s feeling great,” Mahomes told the NFL Network. “I’m out here playing golf, being able to walk around the course. I’ve been running, cutting, jumping, throwing, doing it all. So I’m just excited to get back to training camp and have another chance to make a run at it and win the Super Bowl this year.”

Mahomes, 25, had the procedure days after guiding the Chiefs to a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, in which they dropped a 31-9 decision to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Feb. 7.

Mahomes played through the turf toe injury, which was sustained in the playoffs during Kansas City’s 22-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns in the divisional round on Jan. 17.

Mahomes was the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2018 before his consecutive Super Bowl seasons, including a 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.

Mahomes has a 38-8 career regular-season record as a starter in four NFL seasons, all with the Chiefs. Last year, he completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,740 yards with 38 touchdowns and six interceptions. For his career, he has a 66 percent completion rate with 14,152 passing yards, 114 TD passes and 24 interceptions.

–Field Level Media