The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 on Saturday to advance to the AFC championship game, but there are now concerns over Patrick Mahomes’ fitness.
The Chiefs’ star quarterback was knocked down by 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 floor.
Mahomes immediately reached for his right ankle and limped to the sideline to talk to his team’s coaches before stumbling back onto the field.
“Obviously I have a lot of adrenaline right now, so we’ll see how it feels,” Mahomes told reporters.
“But I’m jumping right into treatment tonight and trying to do everything I can to be as close to 100 percent next week as possible.”
“Luckily for us, we played the early game on Saturday, so we get almost half a day extra that I can rest that ankle.”
Despite his injury, the 27-year-old remained in the game for the rest of the first quarter, but was clearly uncomfortable.
In the second quarter, with his ankle tied, Mahomes appeared to engage in a heated argument with head coach Andy Reid and threw down his jacket as he went to the locker room for evaluation.
Chad Henne took over at quarterback and led the Chiefs to a touchdown to take a 17–7 lead.
Despite the team marking him as doubtful to return, Mahomes came back in the second half and led the team to victory, finishing the night with 195 yards passing and two touchdowns.
“I didn’t want X-rays or anything. I just wanted to keep playing,” Mahomes added, explaining his falling out with Reid.
“I said I would do it at half time but the coach forced me, in my best interest, to go back and get that X-ray before I got back into the game.
“For a while I thought I could play through it but he said he wouldn’t put me back ‘so I might as well go get that x-ray and if it’s negative or whatever I’ll put you back again.’
“I ran back, 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 is either the Cincinnati Bengals or the Buffalo Bills, with both teams playing later on Sunday.
‘He’s a tough boy. He wanted to be there,” Reid told reporters when asked about Mahomes, who did not promise to play next Sunday.
“He wanted to participate and that is a tribute to him and his competitiveness.
“However, you have to make sure he’s okay, physically okay, where he can protect himself and if he can’t, he can’t play.
‘You have to go to the next man. He’s a tough nut 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 gate strong and finished even stronger.
Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns while also adding a rushing touchdown. Eagles running back 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 spot in the Super Bowl Finals on February 12.