Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes has strong return in loss, explains how his knee injury helped his ankle injury

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes returned to the field on Sunday for the first time since suffering a dislocated kneecap during the Chiefs' Week 7 matchup against the Denver Broncos. While the Chiefs did lose to the Tennessee Titans, 35-32, Mahomes threw for a season-high 446 yards and three touchdowns. He did miss a few passes in the early stages of the game, but grew more comfortable as the game wore on.

"The knee's doing fine. Just how we expected going into the game," Mahomes said after the game. "Give credit to the training staff for getting me ready to play. The knee feels fine and I am glad to get through another game."

Naturally, a lot of attention was given to the right knee of the reigning NFL MVP when he took the field on Sunday. According to Ian Rapoport, the Chiefs were so cautious about the situation that they had four different specialists from across the country examine the images of his knee. All were unanimous in that Mahomes was ready to return. 

"I trusted in those guys -- the doctors and the training staff and they told me I was ready to go," Mahomes said. "Obviously you want to get out there, get hit, just to try to get yourself settled into the game, but I had full confidence that I was going to be able to play this game."

While the knee injury forced Mahomes to sit out, he was actually dealing with another injury prior to the incident in Denver. The third-year quarterback had a recurring ankle injury that hampered him all season -- especially when the Chiefs experienced a two-game skid against the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. Since Mahomes was forced to sit out and rest, his ankle benefitted. 

After the game on Sunday, Mahomes was asked about how that ankle felt in his first game back in almost a month. 

"Yeah the ankle is good," replied Mahomes emphatically. "We knew we needed rest for the ankle, we knew we needed some days off, so with having the knee, I was able to rest the ankle and I was able to play and do what I could do and I don't have any pain there."

This might have been the first game Mahomes has played in a month or so where he was relatively pain free, and you can see it in the box score. While Mahomes didn't take many chances on deep balls early on, he ended up looking like the same player who took the league by storm last year. 

"It was amazing, just to see him go out there and come back from a bad injury just like he did," said wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who caught 11 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown. "It was amazing to see him out there having fun, playing the game that he loves. So it was amazing having him back out there." 

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