Patrick Mahomes Shows That His Knee Is Just ‘Fine’

Forbes Finance 3 days ago
Chiefs Titans Football
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws as he is pressured by Tennessee Titans ... [+] inside linebacker Rashaan Evans (54) in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

It’s safe to say that Patrick Mahomes looks quite well.

In his first game back since dislocating his right kneecap on Oct. 17, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback completed 36 of 50 passes for 446 yards, three touchdowns and a 119.2 passer rating. 

His 446 passing yards were the most of his season and the second most of his career.

“The knee’s feeling fine,” Mahomes said, “just as we expected it.”

In addition to his overall numbers, there were a couple of plays, in which he demonstrated the health of his lower body.

On a 3rd and 9 with 12:04 left in the 35-32 loss to the Tennessee Titans, he eluded pass rusher Cameron Wake, jumped in the air and then hit rookie Mecole Hardman for a 63-yard touchdown pass. 

“Mecole ran a great route,” Mahomes said. “I had to throw it before he even broke.”

Mahomes said he works on those kind of jump passes during the offseason with quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka. Mahomes not only jumped off his previously injured knee but then skipped off the field.

On a 3rd and 10 in the second quarter, Mahomes again showed how healthy his legs looked when he backpedaled to avoid rookie defensive back Amani Hooker and threw across the field to Sammy Watkins.

The pass was a bit high, but Watkins should have had it.

That was part of at least four dropped passes, including two each by Watkins and Tyreek Hill, by Mahomes’ receivers. Otherwise, the quarterback’s numbers would’ve been even more impressive during his return to action.

One play, however, shows that he’s still guarding himself.

On a 3rd and 2 with 1:36 left, the Titans covered the screen well, so he bailed on the passing attempt and slid. Although that was a smart play because no one wants to see the franchise quarterback take a hit, a 100 % healthy Mahomes from last year probably runs for the first down.

As a result, the Chiefs had a settle for a field-goal attempt. A poor snap and hold led to an errant throw by holder Dustin Colquitt, and the Chiefs turned the ball over on downs.

The special teams miscues — the Chiefs also had a potential game-tying field goal blocked — along with committing 80 yards worth of penalties and allowing 225 rushing yards ultimately led to a loss despite Mahomes’ strong play.

“We were sloppy,” said head coach Andy Reid, who blamed himself for the loss and slipped to 1-8 against the Titans all time.

The upside is that not only did Mahomes’ knee look healthy, but also his left ankle, which had been nagging him for much of the season, did. Mahomes said rest was the only remedy for that injury and that the time off helped.

“The ankle’s good,” he said. “I don’t have any pain there.”

That’s great news for a player with great value to the Chiefs franchise. In the third year of his four-year $16.4 million rookie deal, Mahomes likely will sign the most lucrative contract in NFL history this offseason.

After he injured himself on a quarterback sneak on a 4th and 1 against the Denver Broncos, his future looked in peril.

“You have all that adrenaline rushing so I didn’t know exactly what it was. I just knew I couldn’t straighten my leg,” Mahomes said. “I looked over and saw my kneecap a little out of place and so I just sat there. I didn’t want to move, and the doctor came out and put it back in.”

The injury ended up being less severe than it first appeared, and in his first game back, Mahomes looked like his old self.

“I was happy with the things he did for the most part,” Reid said.

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