Chiefs’ Mahomes says ankle will be ready for Super Bowl

 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes says he’s “definitely in a better spot” when it comes to his ailing right ankle than he was for the AFC championship game, and the All-Pro quarterback doesn’t expect to be limited by it when he leads the Kansas City Chiefs against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.

Mahomes said before Wednesday’s practice at Arizona State’s facility that he continues to get treatment on the ankle, which he hurt in the divisional round against Jacksonville, and that will probably continue up until Sunday’s kickoff.

“You won’t know exactly how it is until you get to game day,” he said. “I mean, I definitely move around better than I was moving last week or two weeks ago. So it’s just trying to continue to get the treatment and the rehab and get it as close to 100% and then rely on some adrenaline to let me do a little bit extra when I’m on the field.”

Mahomes hurt the ankle when a Jaguars pass rusher landed on it late in the first quarter. X-rays taken during the game came back negative, and he returned in the second half to lead Kansas City to the 27-20 victory.

He spent the next week getting treatment on the ankle, and Mahomes credited trainers Rick Burkholder and Julie Frymyer with getting him in shape to play for the AFC title. And while he was clearly hobbled by the high ankle sprain, and several times limped away from a hit, Mahomes was there against Cincinnati when the Chiefs needed him at the end.

It was Mahomes who sprinted on his ankle in the closing seconds, then took a late hit along the sideline, that got Kansas City in range of Harrison Butker’s 45-yard field goal that punched its ticket back to the Super Bowl.

“He’s been doing really well with his ankle,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Wednesday. “We had a fast practice a couple days ago and he moved well. He can really do just about everything — at least everything in the game plan we asked him to do.”

Reid said everyone planned to work as the Chiefs ramped up with a more intense practice.

That includes JuJu Smith-Schuster, who missed practice last week with swelling in his knee, and fellow wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who likewise skipped all the workouts in Kansas City with a sprained ankle. It also includes cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, who cleared the concussion protocol this week and returned to practice.

All three of those players, along with linebacker Willie Gay Jr., were hurt in the AFC championship game. Gay came away with a relatively minor shoulder injury and practiced last week along with this week.

The Chiefs also are keeping a close eye on running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who was activated off injured reserve when wide receiver Mecole Hardman went on the list with a pelvis injury this week. The 2020 first-round pick has been out since November with a high ankle sprain, but there’s a chance Edwards-Helaire could be active for the Super Bowl.

If active, he would give the Chiefs a change-of-pace back behind Isiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon.

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