KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was cleared Friday from the league’s concussion protocol after his third consecutive day of practice and will be under center when Kansas City plays the Buffalo Bills in the AFC championship game.
“I actually just got out of the protocol,” Mahomes said.
Mahomes said that as much as he wanted to play, he knew the importance of following the protocol for short and long-term success.
“With going to the doctors and talking to all the doctors and going through the testing, we had the belief that there would be no lingering effects,” Mahomes said. “And that I would be able to go out there and be myself and be who I am every single week.”
Mahomes was hurt in the third quarter of the Chiefs’ divisional-round win over Cleveland. He returned to take the majority of snaps in a light workout Wednesday, then did the same again during the longest practice of the week Thursday.
“We had an option play called that we had ran a little earlier in the game. I ran it out to the right. obviously got hit, I tried to get up felt my legs go out,” Mahomes said.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP was examined by team physicians and an independent neurologist after Friday’s workout, the final step in getting out of the NFL concussion protocol.
They ultimately gave Mahomes, who has also been dealing with a minor toe injury, the go-ahead to play in his third consecutive conference title game.
“Pat looked good out there. He did a nice job when he was doing it and looks like he’s moving around well,” coach Andy Reid said earlier this week. “He feels good, so it’s just important that we follow the protocol and that’s what we’re doing.”
He must be cleared by team physicians and an independent neural consult before the reigning Super Bowl MVP can be a full participant in practice or play in a game.