Chiefs players react to Mahomes’ shattered helmet during Wild Card game

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes displayed the perfect example of how cold the team’s Wild Card game against the Miami Dolphins was.

Midway through the third quarter, the Chiefs were in the red zone trying to increase their 16-7 lead, when the game was stopped because Mahomes’ helmet was shattered with a hole in it.

On 2nd & goal, Mahomes scrambled for 13 yards before he was tackled by Dolphins safety Deshon Elliot. Their helmets collided which sent a piece of Mahomes’ helmet flying onto the field.

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“I was trying to get in there,” Mahomes said. “I was trying to get in that end zone. Young Pat would’ve got in. I’m getting a little old.”

Mahoimes referenced his famous scramble touchdown that he made against the Tennessee Titans in the 2020 AFC Championship.

“I would’ve spun, got up in there, but I got squared up and got my helmet cracked. I try not to do it too much but it’s playoff time. Sometimes you gotta put in on the line and try to get in the end zone to win football games.”

Mahomes played two more plays with a hole in his helmet before play was stopped and simply switched helmets before 3rd and goal occurred.

The drive ended with a field goal.

On the broadcast, NBC rules analyst and former NFL referee Terry McAulay said that the Chiefs should have been required to take a timeout since the clock had stopped and Mahomes should have had to come out for a play since he had an equipment change.

Since a helmet was damaged, some fans wonder if Mahomes should have had to at least been evaluated for a concussion.

According to the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee, a player goes into concussion protocol if:

  • the player exhibits or reports symptoms or signs suggestive of a concussion or stinger (a nerve pinch injury); or

  • the team Athletic Trainer, booth ATC spotter, team Physician, NFL game official, coach, teammate, sideline Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant (UNC) or booth UNC initiates the protocol.

Since Mahomes finished the game, these standards must not have been factors.

“I didn’t know it happened in the moment but I got in the huddle and everybody was telling me and I was like ‘I got y’all but I’m not coming out the game. We can figure out on the sideline,'” Mahomes said.

He was hoping to score and figure it out on the sideline.

The backup helmet was sitting on the sideline all game so it was “completely frozen” and Mahomes struggled to put it on.

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“We were able to adjust it on the sideline, get it kind of warmed up a little bit and get rolling from there.”

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and some players got to marvel at the sight of a helmet breaking in the coldest game in Chiefs history.

“Once you go, now you’re just survival right there,” Reid said about it. He acknowledged that he loves to see Mahomes scramble because he usually would slide if it were in the regular season.

Playoff time is different.

“His will to win is ridiculous,” he said. “He’s a great competitor.”

The AFC’s 3-seed Chiefs now wait for their opponent for the Divisional round.

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