Rest easy, Chiefs fans, Patrick Mahomes appears to be on track to play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game.
Mahomes was a full participant in Kansas City's Wednesday practice. The quarterback adopted a positive stance regarding his high ankle sprain when speaking Wednesday, telling media members he's "excited to get on the practice field and kind of test it out and see where I'm at."
Mahomes isn't guaranteed to play Sunday, at least not yet. Coach Andy Reid said ahead of the midweek practice session that the Chiefs will take a day-to-day approach with Mahomes, but the fact he's not sitting out Wednesday is a good sign.
"I mean he's had injuries before so he can bank on that past experience that he's had," Reid said. "He'll do fine. It's just a matter of making sure that he's safe. Safe as you can be out there on the football field."
Mahomes said he's spent the majority of the last few days focusing on treatment, rehab and film study to prepare for the Chiefs' AFC title game rematch with the Bengals. The ankle injury isn't the worst ailment Mahomes has been forced to battle in his career. Mahomes said his toe injury suffered in the 2020 season is what bothered him most.
Mahomes has experience playing through a similar ankle issue. In 2019, he suffered a high ankle sprain to his left ankle in the season-opening game, which limited his ability to follow through on his passes, but didn't force him to miss time.
This time around, his injury is on the leg that he uses to push off when throwing.
"Yeah, it's very similar. Just a different ankle," Mahomes said. "Especially different ankles at the quarterback position when you're planting and throwing off different stuff. So the last one, it was the leg that I landed on, so I had to find ways to throw where I could land and keep it in the right spot. This time I'll have to find ways to be able to push off and be able to still make the throws the right way. So definitely similar in a sense but obviously different limitations and stuff that I'll have to work through."
Mahomes exited Kansas City's Divisional Round game against Jacksonville after suffering the injury, forcing the Chiefs to turn to veteran backup Chad Henne. Mahomes eventually returned, though, leading the Chiefs to a 27-20 win over Jacksonville.
He'll hope to play every offensive snap in a game that could send the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years -- even if he has to fight through some pain to get the job done.
"A lot of greats have done it. I think it's just about being a competitor," Mahomes said. "You want to be out there. Especially in these games. All you can do is just mentally prepare yourself and your body throughout the week. And then like I said, you get to gameday, you just have to focus on the game. That's what I'll try to do, is prepare my body the best I can and get to the game and just go out there and play and try to find a way to win."