Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes took a step in the right direction.
On Wednesday, Mahomes practiced in a limited capacity, despite being in the NFL’s concussion protocol, which means there’s a great chance that the reigning Super Bowl MVP will suit up against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.
Head coach Andy Reid was pleased with Mahomes’ progress.
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“He looked good,” Reid said. “He’s in the protocol so there’s only certain things he can do, but he took all the snaps and he feels good. So, I mean, we’re just going to follow this protocol as close as we possibly can.”
Mahomes, who was injured in the third quarter of last Sunday’s 22-17 win over the Cleveland Browns in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs, suffered the injury when he was tackled around the head and neck area while carrying the football on a QB option play. After the game, reports said that he tweaked a nerve that runs up his neck.
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In order for Mahomes to play, he needs to complete five steps in the league’s return-to-play protocol. Those steps include resting until signs and symptoms return to baseline clearance to begin cardio; stretching and balance training with medical oversight; an increase in exercises that includes monitored strength training; the resumption of non-contact football activities; and then the player is cleared by team physicians and passes an independent neurological exam, at which point he is cleared to practice and play.
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It’s uncertain as to what step Mahomes was in on Wednesday, but based on what Reid said, the All-Pro quarterback may be on the fourth step in the process. If Mahomes continues to trend in the right direction, there’s a good chance that he will participate in practice on Thursday or Friday.
“He’s done well up to this point and they just progress you through the day,” Reid said, “so today was limited work and no contact, I think was the schedule for today. And that’s kind of what we’re doing on Wednesday, so it fit perfectly with that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.