The Kansas City Chiefs already avoided the worst when an MRI on Patrick Mahomes’ dislocated knee returned in a “best-case scenario,” and their franchise quarterback was expected to miss only three weeks.
Even that timeline may be on the long side, as Yahoo Sports’ Terez Paylor reported on Sunday that Mahomes’ second opinion went well, and his return will depend on how his rehab goes. A report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter also says that Mahomes feels “good” and wants to come back before three weeks.
Patrick Mahomes’ second opinion went well, a source tells me.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) October 20, 2019
However, a definitive timeline for return is still unknown until some time passes. It all depends on how his rehab goes and what the follow-up MRIs look like.
While it seems like encouraging news that the team could get Mahomes back soon — and see as little of Matt Moore as possible — bringing him back early remains quite risky. The Chiefs need Mahomes to make a run at their first Super Bowl in 50 years, but they also can’t afford for him to aggravate the injury and miss even more time.
Is it worth it to rush Mahomes back?
Before their Week 12 bye, the Chiefs are set to play the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers. That’s a tough stretch to go through, but the Chiefs shouldn’t be so desperate for wins at this point.
At 5-2, they hold a three-win edge over all the other AFC West teams. And while a first-round bye in the playoffs and home-field advantage would be nice, is it worth putting your most important player in such a tough position?
We’ve already seen what a banged-up Mahomes looks like, and he wasn’t as effective playing on a hurt ankle the past few weeks before the knee injury. Prior to Thursday's game, Mahomes had three straight games with completion rates under 60 percent, and his yards per attempt dropped by 2.6 yards compared to the first three games of the season.
Schefter added that the Chiefs are “expected to exercise extreme caution” with Mahomes, but that’s about the bare minimum anyone would expect. Mahomes understandably wants to get back on the field as soon as possible, but you have to be skeptical of athletes saying they’re ready to return early when Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton hid injuries and rushed back at the start of this year, only to get hurt again.
Mahomes has plenty on the line too since he has yet to sign what is expected to be a record-breaking extension. For the sake of all parties involved, no one can afford to rush Mahomes back, even if they might lose an extra game or two during the regular season.
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