Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes returned to start the second half of Saturday’s divisional round playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars after suffering an ankle injury that forced him from the game.
During one of his first plays back, Mahomes ran for a first down. The Chiefs said the QB was questionable to return when he left the game midway in the second quarter.
Mahomes suffered the injury when he was taken down by Jaguars linebacker Arden Key and defensive lineman Corey Peters after a passing play with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Mahomes’ leg went sideways during the takedown.
Mahomes briefly limped toward the Chiefs sideline, and returned to the field to finish the first quarter. As the first quarter ended, Mahomes limped to the sidelines to be evaluated on the bench. He got his ankle taped and returned to the game as the second quarter began to finish a field-goal drive.
NBC reported early in the second quarter that Mahomes appeared adamant during a conversation with Chiefs coach Andy Reid and a trainer. But Mahomes left for the locker room several minutes later and was shown back on the sidelines later in the quarter.
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Chad Henne, the Chiefs’ 37-year-old backup, entered the game midway through the second quarter in place of Mahomes.
Mahomes was 12 of 15 passing for 84 yards before leaving, throwing an 8-yard touchdown to tight end Travis Kelce on Kansas City’s first drive. The Jaguars responded with a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trevor Lawrence to receiver Christian Kirk in the first quarter.
Henne threw his first career playoff touchdown on his first drive, connecting on a 1-yard score to tight end Travis Kelce to increase Kansas City’s lead to 17-7 with 3:54 left until halftime. The drive was aided by a 39-yard run by running back Isiah Pacheco.
Jaguars kicker Riley Patterson kicked a 41-yard field goal with 27 seconds left in the second quarter to narrow the score 17-10 at halftime.
The Chiefs, the top seed in the AFC, are playing their first playoff game after a bye last week. The Jaguars entered the game after a thrilling comeback win over the Los Angeles Chargers in the wild-card round.
The winner of Saturday’s game would reach the AFC championship game – against the winner of Sunday’s game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills.