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Patrick Mahomes has cleared concussion protocol for AFC Championship game

Kansas City Chiefs star QB has cleared concussion protocol and will play in the AFC Championship game.

Why Patrick Mahomes’ foot injury warrants concern if he’s able to play

Thursday PM update: Patrick Mahomes says that he has been cleared of concussion protocol, per Ian Rapoport. This is of course great news for the Chiefs matchup with the Bills this Sunday. All the Chiefs offensive players get an upgrade.

Thursday AM update: Mahomes was seen at practice Thursday, per The Athletic’s Nate Taylor. He will likely be listed as limited again as he goes through concussion protocol, but he appears to be on track for clearance before Sunday.

Wednesday PM update part 2: Well, it was too good to be true, as Mahomes “full” designation was changed to “limited,” as the quarterback is still in concussion protocol.

Wednesday PM update: Mahomes was officially listed as a full participant for Wednesday’s practice, per in the injury report. We usually don’t see a full practice this early in the week for someone in the concussion protocol, so this is likely a good sign for his Sunday status.

Wednesday AM update: Mahomes is going to have a “very light practice” on Wednesday, per Ian Rapoport. Rappoport goes on to say that Mahomes isn’t showing concussion symptoms so far in protocol. The quarterback will ramp up activity as the team prepares for Buffalo.

Tuesday PM update: Mahomes is expected to practice on Wednesday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter reports that the Super Bowl MVP has taken “some big steps” in his concussion protocol and continues to deal with a foot issue as he works to be cleared for Sunday’s AFC Championship game against the Buffalo Bills. .

Monday PM update: A Kansas City media member is reporting, “Patrick passed all of his tests last night. He didn’t actually hit his head, there was a nerve in his neck that got tweaked that made him out of it. He’s getting testing done on his neck/nerve today but did clear all tests last night.”

It’s worth noting the NFL’s concussion protocol includes players who “exhibit or report symptoms or signs suggestive of a concussion or stinger (a nerve pinch injury).” This means he would still be in the protocol.

Monday AM update: Andy Reid spoke to the media on Monday and in case it was not obvious, formally confirmed Patrick Mahomes is in the concussion protocol. He said, per Matt McMullen, “He’s in the protocol, and we’ll just follow that and see how he does here in the next couple days.”

The Kansas City Chiefs were able to hold off the Cleveland Browns 22-17 for a win in their Divisional Round matchup despite losing Patrick Mahomes to a concussion in the third quarter. Next Sunday against the Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen, they might not be so lucky if Mahomes is unable to play.

Mahomes was ruled out after looking extremely shaky when being helped up after a third-quarter hit against the Browns on an option play and was ruled out shortly after. Coach Andy Reid spoke about Mahomes to media after the game, saying, “He’s doing great right now which is a real positive as we looked at this. Passed all the deals that he needed to pass so we’ll see where it goes from here.” Deals might not be the official terminology, but he does sound positive.

On the FOX Postgame Show, reporter Jay Glazer added to the optimism, saying “the thought is that he will be okay,” and that “he was trying to get himself back in the game.” There is video of Mahomes sprinting to the locker room for evaluation after the hit, but of course, brain injuries aren’t something you can diagnose based on how much a player wants to get back out on the field.

Mahomes will need to go through NFL concussion protocol, which is a gradual return to activity as long as Mahomes has no symptoms. Then, after getting back to full speed, an independent neurologist will need to clear the quarterback for game action.

Backup quarterback Chad Henne played admirably in relief of Mahomes on Sunday, but they will need their full offensive arsenal to beat the Bills and Mahomes is the trigger man for that arsenal. At this point, it does seem like optimism is in order, but any kind of setback would likely cause Mahomes to miss their Championship matchup and put their chances at a return to the Super Bowl in real jeopardy.