With the Washington Football Team upsetting the then-undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) on Monday, the Kansas City Chiefs (11-1) inched closer to securing the AFC’s lone first-round playoff bye week and No. 1 overall seed with four games still to play.
However, it was Washington quarterback and former Chiefs signal-caller Alex Smith who stole the show earlier this week after battling through a bloody second-quarter leg injury to lead his squad to a surprising 23-17 road victory and tie atop the NFC East standings.
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Patrick Mahomes on Smith: ‘I’m Super Proud of Him’
On Wednesday, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes took to the podium to praise his former teammate, who likely solidified Comeback Player of the Year honors well before Monday, having overcome the odds against a life-threatening infection and the 17 surgeries needed to nurse the 36-year-old back to health from a broken leg suffered during the 2018 campaign.
“I haven’t talked to Alex since he won the game against the Steelers, big win for him obviously,” Mahomes told reporters during his weekly press conference. “It’s just truly tremendous to see him.
“It seems like every single time he gets back out there, and you watch him play, he feels more and more comfortable and he looks more and more like the Alex of old and that Alex can win a lot of football games. So, I mean, they’re doing a tremendous job battling for their NFC East Crown with the Giants, it’s a couple other teams over there and so I’m obviously super proud of him being able to battle through that and be at the top of his game again.”
With a much-anticipated faceoff with the Miami Dolphins (8-4) and touted rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa on the horizon, Mahomes was also asked whether he sees any similarities in the relationship he once had as Smith’s backup in 2017 to that between Tagovailoa and 16-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.
“He understands exactly what needs to be done to win football games so for me as far as Alex and me, and Ryan Fitzpatrick and him, I think they have a great dynamic there where they, like me and Alex — two great football players that just want to go out there and win in whatever way possible and help out the team.”
Chiefs Star Receiver Misses Wednesday Practice
Following Kansas City’s first Week 14 practice on Wednesday afternoon, head coach Andy Reid provided an update on the health of a few of his players. Both WR Tyreek Hill and rookie OL Yasir Durant did not participate in the session due to illness, per Kansas City Star beat writer Herbie Teope.
While the illnesses were quickly deemed non-COVID-19 related, the defending Super Bowl champs may have something going around the locker room after Andy Reid told reporters on Monday that rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire “lost some weight with the stomach virus” and remained on the sidelines despite dressing for last week’s divisional win over the Denver Broncos.
Barring any late-week setbacks, it appears the Chiefs could have an overall clean bill of health when they travel to South Florida on Sunday.
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, CO. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join our Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!