KC Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu in NFL concussion protocol, but ‘does feel good,’ coach says

·1 min read
Jill Toyoshiba/jtoyoshiba@kcstar.com

Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu played just seven defensive snaps in Sunday’s 42-36 overtime win against the Buffalo Bills.

Mathieu landed in the NFL’s concussion protocol after defensive tackle Jarran Reed’s knee hit the safety’s helmet on the Bills’ opening drive in the AFC Divisional Round game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs ruled him out for the rest of the game shortly after the on-field collision.

A day later, Chiefs coach Andy Reid provided an update about the condition of Mathieu, who visited with the team’s medical staff Monday morning, the coach said.

“He’s one of the guys that (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) has seen this morning, our docs,” Reid said. “He’s still in the protocol — he’s still going through it — but (he) does feel good.”

Because he remains in the concussion protocol, Mathieu will need to clear a five-step league-mandated process, which includes medical clearance from an independent neurologist, before he’s cleared to return to practice.

Depending on the severity of the Mathieu’s injury and his progress in the concussion protocol, there is a chance that he could be cleared this week in time for Sunday’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium.

“We’ll see how that goes going forward,” Reid said.

With Mathieu in the locker room receiving medical attention Sunday night, the Chiefs leaned heavily on safety Daniel Sorensen, who totaled 59 defensive snaps alongside starting free safety Juan Thornill. Backup safety Armani Watts also saw action, playing on 17 of the team’s defensive snaps.

The Chiefs return to the practice field on Wednesday, so updates on Mathieu’s status will come as the week progresses.