KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS) – As the Chiefs await the return of Patrick Mahomes, they’re adding a familiar quarterback to their active roster, which could signal that Mahomes’ return is still at least a week away.
On Saturday, the Chiefs activated Chad Henne off injured reserve and correspondingly waived quarterback Kyle Shurmur. Henne, who is questionable for Sunday’s game, was supposed to be Mahomes’ backup heading into the season, but he fractured his ankle in August, prompting the team to sign Matt Moore, who has filled in for Mahomes since the reigning MVP dislocated his kneecap on Oct. 17.
As of Saturday afternoon, we have no official word if Mahomes will be able to play against the Vikings on Sunday. He’s officially listed as questionable. But shortly after news of Henne’s activation broke, two reports that touched on Mahomes’ availability emerged.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, “the plan is for Matt Moore to start tomorrow,” but Mahomes will still take part in a workout before kickoff on Sunday. On that note, Yahoo Sports’ Terez A. Paylor reported that “Mahomes has been looking good so far,” but his workout Sunday morning will likely determine if he plays or not. Paylor added that the Chiefs “may also play it safe” and sit him another week, and that the Chiefs likely plan to keep all three quarterbacks. In other words, it sounds like the Chiefs are going to be cautious, but if Mahomes’ workout goes well on Sunday, he has a chance to play.
The Chiefs have no real reason to rush him back. Moore has played well in relief of Mahomes, helping the Chiefs beat the Broncos after Mahomes left the game in the first half, and going punch-for-punch with Aaron Rodgers last week in what ended up being a narrow loss to the Packers. There’s no doubt that the Chiefs would have a better chance to beat the 6-2 Vikings with the reigning MVP, but the Chiefs don’t need risk a longer-term injury by hurrying him back. Because the rest of the AFC West has floundered through the first half of the year, the Chiefs are still in control of the division at 5-3. While they’re in a tight race for the second seed with the 5-2 Colts, 5-2 Ravens, and 5-3 Texans, Mahomes’ long-term health should matter more to them than a potential first-round bye. It’s not like having Mahomes on Sunday would guarantee a win over a Vikings team that is surging with four straight wins.
After facing the Vikings on Sunday, the Chiefs get the Titans and Chargers before their Week 12 bye. It seems increasingly likely that Mahomes will be able to make his return at some point in the next two weeks.