Is Patrick Mahomes Playing This Week?
I thought talk of Mahomes playing was a joke, a prank…until I saw the video of him working in practice Thursday. Moving around at a jogging pace (as was appropriate for their practice at that point) and stretching his legs/knees like ‘no big deal’.
Everybody has an opinion on what to do here, or how bad things are with the knee…
-The first reaction by most was to go normal/medical…give a 2-4 weeks out projection. Reasonable.
-I listened to an NFL player talk about their dislocated kneecap, and the pain involved after/during healing and I thought the 4-week/later time frame made sense + it works with a Week 12 BYE week.
-Now, we have all the ‘rub dirt in it and go play’, ‘football players are warriors’ analysts chiming in with “I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays because that’s what football players do.”
No one has less business sense than football players from 10+ years ago to 100 years ago range. And, sadly, most every current coach and analyst are an ex-football player from that time range. The kind of people who think college kids are dumb for sitting out meaningless bowl games before they enter the NFL Draft. The kind of people who come to work with the flu because ‘they don’t miss work’…and get everyone else sick. The kinda people that were sold on a ‘family’ concept of the football team (that didn’t really exist, but it was easy to control players that way).
These people think Mahomes can and should play if he can limp out there…because they are projecting themselves into the situation. As dumb as they are about the big picture, they might be right about it happening – because the people making decisions on Mahomes playing are all ex-football players or are scared of ex-football player’s criticism’s.
-The smart thing to do, with the most prized racehorse in the world…is not to push him back too quickly. Err on the side of caution. Having a chance to win this week is not worth the entire season…or the asset’s future.
That’s what smart business people would consider and think through and err on the side of.
The problem is…we’re not dealing with smart business people. The same people having Tom Brady throw passes against an aggressive defense in a blowout lead/game with 5+ minutes left in the game (last week)…make these decisions. The people that talk incessantly about Todd Gurley’s knee and managing his workload, and then pay free agent money and use draft capital to back him up and devise offseason plans to minimize Gurley’s future workload – they are the same people that rushed him back from a quad injury and upon return (last week) have him taking carries late into a blowout lead – these are the people making big business decisions on behalf of the organization.
Coaches don’t care. They have a shelf life of a week at a time from media scrutiny. Win and they are safe for another week. A five-year plan doesn’t exist in their minds. A five-week plan doesn’t exist.
With that, we have Mahomes already practicing a bit and leaving people wondering if he might play this week. You’d think they wouldn’t rush him back…but you’re using logic that doesn’t exist in the NFL.
Seeing him out on the practice field, limited, makes me now think he will be back sooner-rather-than-later. If you or I ran Kansas City, we would tell him to stay off that knee as much as possible for at least a week for maximum healing and then see where we are at next Monday. Nope, he’s already out there moving around on it.
The knee is so critical to a QB’s movement in the pocket and leg drive. A sore, but workable knee is going to be an issue to throwing mechanics and escaping pressure. It’s also a target for every opposing defense. You can beat Kansas City forever if you could knock Mahomes’s knee cap out for good. If his career ends, so be it. In a sport where people are constantly trying to near-kill each other every play…you could hit the prized QB low just to knock him out of the game, but maybe knock him out of the season as an unintended consequence. D-Lineman hate quarterbacks. They are like trained attack dogs to get after them, to hit them so hard they squeal…to legally hit them so hard they have to leave the game…or just see ghosts. They aren’t going to ‘take it easy’ on him…not most, just a few…the few are what scares you here.
Is Chiefs’ management ready to put Mahomes at-risk, so soon after injury and risk a recurrence? Maybe.
I’m shifting my call from Mahomes out until Week 13 to more Week 9-10. I don’t think he’ll play Week 8…there’s no reason to do it. The AFC West is a joke, and KC can afford to lose a game to give St. Patrick an extra week to heal. If this was a must-win Week 17 game or some critical AFC West matchup…maybe they push it. The circumstances are – they don’t need to push anything. They take the ‘L’ now and fight stronger next week.
If they rushed him back this week, and he got re-injured and gone for the season – all hell would break loose. Waiting a week on that, alleviates a lot of that scrutiny.
Week 8, very likely out. Like 95% likely not playing.
Week 10…likely to be playing.
I have no clue how bad his knee is or what the proper healing time for him is. I’m just trying to read tea leaves and talk to people for their theories/insight and make a call here. Your Patrick Mahomes emergency crisis management plan 2.0 may only need to cover Weeks 8-9. Maybe only Week 8.
…and maybe the rest of the season if he gets popped just right upon return. You know Andy Reid would call for a QB sneak without thinking about it again…that one yard is so important. Mahomes might do it himself just to prove a point to everyone too.
For the sake of Tyreek, I hope he’s back Week 8-9.
For the sake of Mahomes’s future, I hope he takes as long as he needs + a week to be sure.