NFL

Chiefs’ Reid confirms Mahomes will start AFC title game against Bengals

By Sports Desk January 27, 2023

The Kansas City Chiefs will have Patrick Mahomes under center for Sunday’s AFC Championship game – not that there has been much doubt this week.

Despite suffering a high ankle sprain in last weekend's 27-20 Divisional-round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mahomes was able to practice three times this week and declared "I'm ready to go” on Wednesday.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has confirmed that Mahomes would play in the AFC title game for the fifth year in a row on Sunday when the Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals.

"He looks good," Reid said on Friday. "I mean, he's moving around good. He's going to go out and play."

After Mahomes said on Wednesday that he would be fit, the quarterback began fielding questions about how much a sprained ankle might change his effectiveness or style of play.

"I feel like I can still do a lot of things," he said. "We'll see as we get closer and closer, and we'll see during the game.

"You can't fully do exactly what you're going to be doing in those moments in the game [in practice], but all I can do is prepare myself the best way possible and then when we get in the game, you hope adrenaline kind of takes over."

Mahomes returned to last Saturday’s game to help lead the Chiefs over the Jaguars, but he was clearly limping and was unable to pull off some of his signature improvisation due to his injury.

After a week of rehabilitation, neither Mahomes nor Reid are willing to say publicly if the 2018 NFL MVP will be able to run the entire playbook.

"We have enough in the game plan where you can kind of pick and choose where you want to go with it," he said. "You have a variety of things that you can go to. Obviously, you don't use all the plays in the game plan, but they're available and so if you have to go a certain direction, you can go that direction with the calls."

Meanwhile, the Bengals are not expecting Mahomes to be any less potent.

Cincinnati pass rusher Sam Hubbard said: "We're preparing for Patrick Mahomes like he's 100 per cent, because I'm sure he's going to be playing 100 per cent. That's all you can do."

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