How will Patrick Mahomes’ ankle injury impact Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVII playbook?
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes came out on the other side of the AFC Championship Game in good shape concerning his high ankle sprain. He felt as if he didn’t take any steps backward in his recovery by playing against the Cincinnati Bengals and the team has indicated as much as well.
Still, Mahomes is dealing with an injury that typically takes several weeks to recover from. While he’ll be closer to 100% during the Super Bowl, he’s still going to be feeling that ankle injury during the game. How that exactly impacts Mahomes remains to be seen.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy was asked about how Mahomes’ ankle injury might affect the playbook in the Super Bowl. Will they be catering things based on Mahomes’ ankle or will they have the full allotment of plays available to them?
“I think it’s a mix of both,” Bieniemy said. “But, we want to make sure that everything we’re putting in, that we can bring it into next week’s game. And so, you guys know Pat (Mahomes). Pat’s not going to shy away from anything. And it’s our job more than anything to protect him from himself. And so, our job is to make sure that we’re putting together the right game plan that’s going to help us to be at our best. But on top of that, making sure that we’re looking out for Pat in the meantime. So, we’re not going to change anything. We know that Pat will be at his best when his best is needed. You guys know him, he’s a competitor. He’s not going to shy away from anything.”
As we saw in the AFC Championship Game when Mahomes scrambled and was hit late out of bounds, he’s not going to shy away from doing what he needs to do to win. It’s a safe bet that Andy Reid and Bieniemy won’t be calling any speed option plays with their quarterback, though. They’re not going to actively put him in harm’s way or subject him to hits. They certainly don’t want to waste any time installing plays that won’t be run.
The Chiefs’ decision-makers are going to make sure that they’re balancing protecting Mahomes with putting together a winning game plan against a tough defense that likes to get after the quarterback. It won’t be easy, but rest assured that Mahomes will communicate to the coaching staff about what he’s comfortable with and what he’s not.
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