The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback hurt his right hand (throwing hand) in the first half, and it clearly had an impact on his ability to deliver an accurate ball.
"It doesn't feel great right now, but it's something that you play with," Mahomes said after his team's 23-16 win at Gillette Stadium. "In this sport, you're going to get hurt, you're going to bang something. So for me, it's about going out there and competing and relying on my teammates to help me out whenever I'm not feeling 100 percent."
It didn't take long for Mahomes to realize something wasn't quite right.
"I just kind of hit the ground weird when I was trying to throw that ball away and got hit, threw it away and got tackled right as I threw it away," Mahomes said. "I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know for sure. Then I tried to fire that next pass and it didn't look too pretty, so I kind of just let the trainers look at it. They gave me the good-to-go, and so I went out there, battled, figured out ways to throw the ball across the middle and maybe not shoot those long shots that I usually throw, but enough to get them back and still score touchdowns."
Coming out of the game was never an option for Mahomes.
"No, no, never," he admitted. "For me, I'm playing until they take me out."
Mahomes completed 26 of 40 pass attempts for 283 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He threw for just 57 yards in the second half and the Chiefs offense struggled to score only three points over the final 30 minutes of the game. Kansas City's defense stepped up and delivered two clutch stops in the fourth quarter with the Patriots trailing by a touchdown.
The fact that Mahomes was able to play through the injury is encouraging, but Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed his quarterback will undergo further tests to make sure he's OK.
"Pat hurt his hand early in this game and you know, we think it's OK," Reid said. "We will see how it goes. It was hard for him to grip the ball and do the things that he needed to do there. But he powered through it and didn't say much. That's how he is, so we will just take an x-ray of it, as we go here and all that stuff that we do."
The Chiefs clinched the AFC West division title by beating the Patriots, but for them to remain in the race for a top-two seed and a playoff bye, they need Mahomes healthy and playing at a high level over the final three regular season games.
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