Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes Might Not Play vs. Bills, in NFL ‘Concussion Protocol’
The Bills will play their biggest game in 27 years when they visit Arrowhead Stadium to play the number one seed and defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. It'll be the Bills' first AFC Championship game since January of 1994.
The game will feature the two top passing offenses in football but one of those star quarterbacks' status for the game remains up in the air for Sunday.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes left Sunday's Divisional round win against the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter with an apparent concussion and was later ruled out.
On Monday, it was reported that Mahomes got a pinched nerve in his neck, which caused him to show concussion symptoms. However, a pinched nerve still falls under the NFL's concussion protocol, which Mahomes is now in.
Mahomes has to go through a five-phase process under the NFL's concussion protocol. After completing those five steps he must also be cleared by an independent neurologist that is NFL and NFLPA approved.
The first phase is rest and limited activity. The second phase is aerobic exercise under the supervision of medical staff. Phase three calls for football-specific exercises. Phase four is non-contact football drills with his teammates. Football exercise activity is the final phase.
If symptoms reappear at any point during the phases, then it could very well mean Mahomes doesn't play Sunday against the Bills. The Athletic reported that of all the quarterbacks who were placed in concussion protocol between 2015 and 2019, the average time clearing protocol was seven days, which puts him the day of the game.
If Mahomes plays it could mean he doesn't practice in full at all this week. He also suffered a toe injury against the Browns, which is another thing to monitor.
The Bills should prepare to play Mahomes since he's so dangerous, but if he cannot go it'll be 12-year NFL veteran Chad Henne. Henne might be familiar to Bills fans. He started his career with the Miami Dolphins in 2008 and played multiple games against the Bills.
Henne isn't Mahomes though, and I'm sure Chiefs and NFL fans are rooting for him to be cleared before Sunday.