Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes would not be cleared to play in the AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills if that contest happened on Monday afternoon instead of next Sunday.
"He's in the protocol, and we'll just follow that and see how he does here in the next couple days," Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters when speaking of his starting signal-caller, per Kevin Patra of the league's official website.
"I just leave that with (athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) and the docs because of the protocol it's a no brainer for the coaching staff, you don't have to think about it. ... I can't tell you from a medical standpoint where he's at. I don't know that."
Mahomes went down to the head injury in the third quarter of Sunday's victory over the Cleveland Browns. Journeyman veteran Chad Henne played in place of the reigning Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and helped the Chiefs hold on to the lead and win, but the Kansas City offense clearly wasn't the same without Mahomes under center.
According to Nancy Armour of USA Today, Mahomes must report no concussion symptoms and also be cleared by an independent neurological consultant to resume football activities later this week.
“He passed all the deals he needed to pass,” Reid said of Mahomes on Sunday night. "We’ll see where it goes from here."
Barring an expected setback, it would surprise most observers if Mahomes doesn't take the field with a second straight Super Bowl berth on the line.