Timeline for Patrick Mahomes’ Return Revealed by ESPN Insider

Patrick Mahomes Chiefs

Getty Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes exited Sunday's AFC Divisional win over the Browns after taking an awkward hit in the third quarter.

As the Kansas City Chiefs continue to gear up for their third consecutive AFC Championship Game on Sunday, all eyes continue to be on Patrick Mahomes.

As of Monday, the Chiefs’ superstar quarterback was continuing to work through the NFL’s concussion protocol after an awkward tackle left him visibly disoriented and out of Sunday’s AFC Divisional win over the Cleveland Browns.

On Tuesday, new information from ESPN’s Adam Schefter may bring some newfound hope to Chiefs Kingdom as the MVP candidate has already cleared “some big steps” in the process.

While Mahomes’ status for Sunday’s tilt versus the No. 2 seed Buffalo Bills remains up in the air, the 25-year-old still has at least four full days to make progress in his recovery.

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Mahomes Expected to Return to Practice on Wednesday

In a follow-up tweet, Schefter also reported that Mahomes is also still dealing with a “foot issue,” likely the big toe injury sustained early in the game Sunday that left him playing with a subtle, but noticeable limp. However, despite being more banged up now than at any point this season, Mahomes is expected to practice during Kansas City’s first session of the week on Wednesday.

The Athletic’s Nate Taylor has since confirmed Schefter’s report while clarifying that Mahomes’ involvement on Wednesday may be limited to individual work.

Speaking to the media during a press conference on Monday, head coach Andy Reid said that “I think we’ll be alright” in regard to Mahomes’ ailing toe. When it came to a potential timeline for his quarterback to return to the practice field, Reid was quick to defer the decision to his team’s medical staff.

“I just leave that with Rick [Burkholder] and the docs,” Reid told reporters on Monday, via the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope. “Because of the protocol, it’s a no-brainer from the coach’s standpoint. I mean, you don’t have to think about it, you just have to go forward and make sure you have an answer if he’s there, have an answer if he’s not there. I can’t tell you from a medical standpoint where he’s at. I mean, I don’t know that. So, that’s their decision and I just follow it.”

Kansas City Star columnist Sam Mellinger also reported on Monday that there is optimism within Chiefs headquarters that Mahomes will play this week.

Chiefs Have Not Confirmed Mahomes Suffered Concussion

Whether purposefully or not, Reid and the team have avoided calling Mahomes’ head injury a concussion thus far, despite being forced into league protocol (detailed here) on Sunday due to his on-field stumbling immediately after the hit. During his postgame press conference, Reid said that, “[Mahomes] got hit in the back of the head and it kind of knocked the wind out of him.

This dovetails with a report later that evening from FOX NFL Sunday’s Jay Glazer, who described the injury as closer to being “choked out” rather than a concussion that might result from a more standard head-to-head collision. According to the NFL insider, Mahomes was indeed attempting to get himself back in Sunday’s game and was spotted on the Chiefs’ bench talking to Reid later in the fourth quarter.

According to 610 Sports Radio’s Carrington Harrison, who also reported on Monday that Mahomes tweaked a nerve in his neck, the decision to rule the Chiefs quarterback out of the remainder of Sunday’s game was due to an incorrect response given during a series of questioning.


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!