The eyes of the NFL world remain on Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes heading into Championship Sunday after he suffered what was said to be a concussion in the divisional round against the Cleveland Browns, but he has made some progress since Sunday. On Tuesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Mahomes cleared "some big steps" on Monday, but does remain in the NFL's concussion protocol. He still must go through certain steps to clear concussion protocol in the coming days, but there is "hope and optimism" considering he's expected to practice on Wednesday, according to Schefter.
Mahomes went down after what appeared to be a routine option play, but struggled to stand on his own when he attempted to get up. Carrington Harrison of CBS Sports Radio in Kansas City reported this week that the Chiefs' star quarterback appeared woozy because a nerve in his neck was tweaked (or potentially compressed) on the hit. Regardless, Mahomes is in concussion protocol, and has more obstacles to overcome if he wants to suit up on Sunday.
"We'll just follow that and see how he does here in the next couple days," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of the protocol, via The Buffalo News. "Because of the protocol it's a no brainer from the coach's standpoint. You don't have to think about it."
The head injury is obviously the main concern for Mahomes, but he was also seen limping on the field prior to the injury due to a toe issue. Reid said on Monday that the toe injury Mahomes suffered will not keep him out of the game this weekend, which is good news.
"I think he'll be OK with the toe part," Reid said, via ESPN's Adam Teicher.
Chad Henne, who will likely start on Sunday if Mahomes cannot, came into the game this past weekend and wrapped up the 22-17 win for Kansas City. He completed 6 of 8 passes for 66 yards and threw a pick, but did scramble for 13 yards on a third-and-14 late in the fourth quarter, and then hit Tyreek Hill in the flat for a gain of five yards on the ensuing fourth down to put the game on ice for the Chiefs. Mahomes' health will continue to be the center of attention as the week goes on, but it appears things are going well up to this point.