Playing behind a reshuffled offensive line due to a bevy of injuries, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes was on the receiving end of a season-high four sacks in New Orleans in Week 15.
Of the group, starting LT Eric Fisher had the most trouble against the Saints defensive front, partially responsible for the five quarterback hits and 2.0 sacks allowed to DE Trey Hendrickson, who is now tied for the league lead (12.5) with Los Angeles Rams All-Pro DT Aaron Donald. Though Fisher also deserves credit for playing a career-high 98 snaps with a tight back that forced him to miss two of three practices leading up to the potential Super Bowl preview.
During the broadcast, Mahomes was seen addressing his left tackle on the Chiefs sideline, leading many to believe the MVP passer was ripping the former No. 1 overall pick for his on-field performance despite playing through pain. This week, Fisher provided some context around the conversation between the two.
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Fisher: ‘We’re All Just Motivating Each Other’
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the 29-year-old tackle downplayed any idea of tension with Mahomes over his Week 15 showing, but rather praised the leadership of the offense as a whole.
“I think we have such an awesome group where I think we have a lot of leaders on the field at the same time and we’re all just motivating each other, but obviously we talked about it in the locker room,” Fisher told the media on Wednesday.
“You can look back on the season and you’re going to have that one game that was your best game, you’re going to have one game that was not your best game and everybody’s going to have a game or a play or a series and I think we all just support each other and motivate each other when we see a guy struggling, we all jump in to encourage and we just keep on rolling man. It’s a game that there’s a lot of adversity throughout and we just never panic, we stick together and we do what we’ve trained to do and we’re enjoying it, having fun with it and on to the next one, right?”
Head coach Andy Reid also shed some light on the brief “butt chewing” between Fisher and Mahomes this week, while also revealing that his ailing left tackle suffered a second injury during the Week 15 win.
“Yeah so Fish, he missed a couple practices this week so he kind of pushed himself through with his back and you know his hamstring tightened up,” Reid said during his Monday press conference, via Aly Trost of SportsRadio810. “He had these things happen during the game. He didn’t say anything, he kind of just rolls with it and then after the game you find this out. So, I think those things were affecting him a little bit.
“He had a couple good pass rushers on him, and they got him a couple times and so you know Pat – listen, he lets you know, his is encouragement and butt chewing all at once. So, linemen are used to that, they can take it, they were wearing big boy pants so they can handle it and that’s also part of the leadership part of it and Fish is good about it. He just kept bearing down, he didn’t complain, he just keeps rolling, that’s what he does and so very dependable that way on being there.”
Fortunately, Fisher was removed from the team’s first Week 16 injury report on Wednesday, while RT Mike Remmers, also dealing with a tight back for the past couple weeks, was upgraded to a full participant after missing all of last week’s practice sessions.
Fisher Earns Second Pro Bowl Nod, Hefty Bonus
Earlier this week, the eighth-year tackle was also one of seven Chiefs named to the 2021 Pro Bowl roster. Kansas City was one of only four teams — along with the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens — to have seven players selected.
Mahomes unsurprisingly topped all players with 342,353 fan votes (edging out Seahawks counterpart Russell Wilson by 7,179) and TE Travis Kelce finished fourth overall in the tally with 309,710 votes of his own.
As a result, Fisher, previously selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl after Mahomes’ first full season under center, earned himself an extra half a million dollars in bonus money, per USA Today’s Chiefs Wire.
The incentive was built into his four-year, $48 million extension signed during the 2016 offseason.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!