Chiefs’ Mahomes: ankle recovering as offseason work begins
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes plans to be ready for training camp with no limitations from the high ankle sprain that occurred during the playoffs and was such the focal point of their run to a Super Bowl victory in February.
The Chiefs began their offseason program Monday, though most of their players will spend the first two weeks of voluntary workouts at home and meeting through Zoom.
That includes Mahomes, who has gathered a group of wide receivers, running backs and tight ends at his home in Texas for the second straight year for their own workouts.
Mahomes was hurt in the divisional round of the playoffs when a Jacksonville pass rusher landed on his ankle late in the first quarter. He had X-rays taken at the stadium and returned to lead Kansas City to the 27-20 victory, then managed to play with the injury in an AFC title game win over the Bengals before beating the Eagles for his second Lombardi Trophy.
“Right now it’s been more about managing it and getting the mobility back as best I can,” Mahomes said. “I wouldn’t say I’m 100% but I haven’t had any limitations. ... You want to make sure you’re still building. You might be a little sore on the weekend, but I feel like we’ve done a good job of pushing it to the limit.”
Mahomes said he hasn’t tested the ankle with full-speed running and cutting, but that could happen in the next couple of weeks, or about the time he joins the rest of the Chiefs for voluntary workouts at the team facility in Kansas City.
He also said the ankle injury isn’t as bad as the foot injury that required surgery in February 2021 and caused him to miss much of the offseason program.
In that case, Mahomes was still careful with the injury when he arrived at training camp.
“The foot was way more serious than the ankle has been,” said Mahomes, who broke the Chiefs franchise record with 5,250 yards passing along with an NFL-leading 41 touchdown passes last season. “The foot, having the surgery and having that cast on, really cut down my mobility a lot. I had to work on that into the next season.
“The ankle, I feel like we’ve improved the last few weeks a ton,” Mahomes continued. “The swelling went down finally. I didn’t have that soreness after a few days of work. With the improvements we’ve made, I have a great feeling by the time we get to training camp we won’t have any limitations.”
Mahomes said he took about two weeks off after the Chiefs celebrated their Super Bowl victory with a parade to Union Station, where the NFL will hold its draft next week. Then he got back to work with his longtime trainer, Bobby Stroupe.
“I mean, the one thing about winning the Super Bowl is your offseason gets a lot shorter,” he said. “I turned forward pretty quickly. I was ready to get back to next season. You go on your little trips here and there for relaxing, but I try to get in two or three days of workouts with Bobby so I’m back in that OTA mode and ready to go.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid took even less time off after the victory parade. He had to make some changes to his coaching staff after losing offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy to the Commanders and assistant Greg Lewis to the Ravens.
By the time that was done, Reid was looking ahead to the scouting combine and the upcoming draft.
That quick turnaround from a long playoff run to the beginning of offseason workouts is why Reid has allowed players to attend meetings remotely the past couple of seasons. He wants them to have enough time to fully recharge.
“I just want them to freshen up,” Reid said. “That season doesn’t seem like it’s very long, but you’re playing in the Super Bowl and having the parade and all of sudden you’re back, so this gives the guys an opportunity to get away.”