After setting a new postseason career-high of 325 passing yards against the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes put to rest a lot of the concern about his turf toe injury — at least in the short term.
The 25-year-old superstar first suffered the injury early on in the AFC Divisional Round the week prior, playing through a noticeable limp before being forced into concussion protocol after an awkward tackle by Cleveland Browns linebacker Mack Wilson. While Mahomes has since cleared the head/neck injury, his ailing toe is going to require more attention this offseason.
According to a new report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Sunday morning, Mahomes will likely have surgery to repair his ailing toe after visiting with a foot specialist following the Super Bowl.
Update: According to Rapoport on Tuesday, Mahomes will undergo surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn plantar plate in his foot, which is expected to come with a multi-month recovery. Former longtime NFL head team doctor David Chao, otherwise known as Pro Football Doc on Twitter, believes the recovery could span approximately six months. Fortunately, Mahomes is expected to make a full recovery ahead of the 2021 regular season in early September.
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Mahomes’ Toe ‘Won’t Heal on Its Own’
Rapoport previously suggested this scenario was a possibility on the morning of the AFC Championship, saying at the time, “I’m told the thought right now is he does not need surgery, but he is going to meet with a specialist whenever the season ends to determine that fully.”
However, the latest report from the NFL insider reveals that the injury is not expected to heal on its own at this point, with one of Rapoport’s sources even acknowledging, “It’s amazing how good he’s looked considering the issue.”
When asked about the status of his toe during his media availability earlier in the week, Mahomes painted a more rosy picture of the situation.
“It feels a lot better,” Mahomes told reporters on Tuesday, via Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City. “Having these two weeks to let it rest and heal up, especially being almost three weeks, over three weeks away from the injury itself. If you look at those type of injuries, that kind of gives you the normal timeline. Definitely every single day that I get to rest it, makes it better but it’s pretty close to 100% and I’m sure by gameday it will be.”
During his AFC Championship postgame press conference, head coach Andy Reid revealed how “black and blue” the toe initially was, praising the diligence of the Chiefs’ training staff to help Mahomes get back on the field in a week’s time.
“I’ll tell you, I think the trainers and he had a good plan for the toe,” Reid said on January 24, via Aly Trost of Sports Radio 810. “I mean, that was an amazing looking thing after our last game and how black and blue it was. And within a day, the trainers and Pat, they put this diligence into taking care of business, at his home too. With the Game Ready machine, they were able to get that swelling and the black and blue out, which really allowed him to recover quite a bit quicker.”
Mahomes Finishes Third in MVP Voting
All eyes will be on the Chiefs signal-caller on Sunday as he attempts to navigate a strong Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rush against an ailing offense line en route to a second straight Lombardi Trophy. Instead, the Bucs defensive line may need to heed the recent advice of one AFC coach who warned them not to fall for Mahomes’ “old man jog” on the sport’s biggest stage.
Especially considering his 4,740-yard, 38-touchdown, 14-win regular season performance garnered just two-of-50 MVP votes on Saturday night.
As far as Sunday is concerned, expect Mahomes to be a full-go as he becomes the youngest quarterback in NFL history to start two Super Bowls. Another shot at Super Bowl MVP honors will have to do for now.
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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!