The NFL has made its decision on whether to fine Kansas City Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen and Cleveland Browns linebacker Mack Wilson, who delivered the awkward tackle that sent Patrick Mahomes into the NFL’s concussion protocol this week.
According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Saturday afternoon, the league will not be fining either defender for their role in two controversial plays during last Sunday’s AFC Divisional matchup. This comes on the heels of Pelissero’s Monday report that Sorensen would not be suspended for spearing Browns wideout Rashard Higgins.
Two controversial plays from last week’s #Browns–#Chiefs game — Mack Wilson’s takedown that put Patrick Mahomes in concussion protocol, and Daniel Sorensen’s helmet hit on Rashard Higgins that caused a fumble — resulted in no fines from the NFL.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 23, 2021
The ruling on the seventh-year Chiefs safety comes as a slight surprise considering Gene Steratore and Terry McAulay — both former NFL referees turned network rules analysts — deemed the helmet-to-helmet hit to be a foul last weekend.
Dirty Dan loves making plays in the playoffs 😏
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 17, 2021
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Wilson, Randi Mahomes Reach Resolution on Twitter
Compared to Sorensen’s unpenalized infraction, Wilson’s takedown of the 25-year-old superstar has not drawn nearly as much widespread pushback, though upsetting to Chiefs fans and Mahomes’ mom, Randi — who called for the linebacker’s ejection in one game day tweet and referred to him as “evil” in another.
After the game, Wilson tweeted “prayers” to the Chiefs signal-caller and was quick to defend himself for what happened; a sentiment that was appreciated by Mahomes’ mom in a social media “make up” on Monday.
Thanks!! I know every player was out there playing their best.. this momma bear was just having a hard time watching it…. it hurt me as a parent is all.. appreciate your kinda words.. #blessed
— Randi Mahomes (@tootgail) January 19, 2021
Following the news on Friday of Mahomes being officially cleared to start against the Buffalo Bills this weekend, Wilson chimed in one more time to wish No. 15 well.
Prayer has been answered.. Go ball out 15! @PatrickMahomes ❤️🙏🏾
— Mack Wilson (@5mackwilson1) January 22, 2021
Mahomes didn’t field any direct questions about Wilson from reporters on Friday, but the MVP candidate made it clear that he’ll be good to go for his third consecutive AFC Championship Game after a week of limited practice.
“The week has just been a bunch of testing, a bunch of different things just to make sure that I’m good to go and [there are] no lingering effects or anything like that,” Mahomes said during his Friday press conference. “But everything’s been good, and I’ve [gone] through what all the three, four different doctors have said. And everything’s looked well, and I’m out of it now.”
Mahomes Made Savvy Move in Moments Following Injury
While Wilson’s third-quarter hit left the fourth-year quarterback in need of help to stand on his feet, Mahomes apparently had the awareness to hold off his team’s training staff just long enough for Chad Henne to warm up. When asked about what he remembered in the moments immediately following the play, Mahomes revealed the small, but important detail about buying some extra time for his veteran backup.
“We had an option play called that we had ran a little bit earlier in the game,” Mahomes told reporters on Friday. “I ran it out to the right, obviously got hit, tried to get up, felt my legs go out [and] knew that wasn’t a good thing. So, I was able to get grabbed. I remember before I got off the field I was telling the guys, the trainers to let me stay there so Chad [Henne] could warm up because I knew we were about to go for it on that fourth down. Then I went into the tests and everything like that.”
A report from 610 Sports Radio’s Carrington Harrison on Tuesday suggested that the decision by doctor’s to rule Mahomes out for the remainder of last Sunday’s game was due to an incorrect answer on one specific game-related question.
It appears we can now rule out that the question had anything to do with the implications of the play that left him shaken up.
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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!