As Mahomes was helped up off the turf, Kansas City Chiefs fans were sitting on the edge of their seats, as their Super Bowl chances were hanging by a thread. The Chiefs eventually escaped against the Browns without Mahomes; they now host the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.
Now the question of will Patrick Mahomes play on Sunday in the NFL has started to swarm in. If Kansas City do not have Mahomes, they have a negligible chance of beating Buffalo.
What needs to happen for Patrick Mahomes to be available for the game against the Bills?
Patrick Mahomes will need to pass the NFL Concussion Protocol. There are five steps that need to happen in order for Mahomes to be available for Sunday's NFL game:
NFL's Return-to-Participation Protocol:
Phase One: Symptom Limited Activity: Patrick Mahomes will need to rest, limit or, if necessary, avoid all physical activities that could increase or aggravate his symptoms.
Patrick Mahomes can stretch and work on his balance but needs to be monitored by the Chiefs training staff. If they feel he is progressing, then he can move to light aerobic exercises.
Phase Two: Aerobic Exercise: Patrick Mahomes will need to complete aerobic exercises under the direct oversight of the Kansas City Chiefs medical staff. He will need to do cardiovascular exercises, stretching and balance training. Once Phase two is complete, the medical staff would test Patrick Mahomes' neurocognitive and balance testing.
Phase Three: Football Specific Exercise: In phase three, Patrick Mahomes will continue to be monitored by the medical staff. He will be able to do cardiovascular exercises that mimic what he does on Sundays. Mahomes will also be able to do a little strength training and practise with the team for 30 minutes or less.
Phase Four: Club-based Non-Contact Training Drills: Patrick Mahomes will continue his cardiovascular, strength and balance training, team-based sport exercises and participate in non-contact football activities.
Phase Five: Full Football Activity/Clearance: Patrick Mahomes will need to be fully cleared by the Independent Neurological Consultant that will be assigned to the Chiefs. If the Independent Neurological Consultant and team doctors feel the concussion has be treated, Patrick Mahomes will be able to play on Sunday against the Bills.
Nine chances out of ten, Patrick Mahomes will be suited up and cleared to play against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night.
Kansas City Chiefs medical staff will continue to monitor every hit that Patrick Mahomes takes against the Bills. So, it's safe to say that Patrick Mahomes will be starting the upcoming NFL game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.