Patrick Mahomes Says He Cleared Concussion Protocol, Will Play in AFC Championship Game

Patrick Mahomes is ready to go. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback announced on Friday that he has cleared concussion protocol and will play in the AFC Championship game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. This comes after Mahomes suffered a concussion in the divisional round game against the Cleveland Browns last weekend.

"The week has just been a bunch of testing, a bunch of different things just to make sure that I'm good to go and (there are) no lingering effects or anything like that," Mahomes said to reporters on Friday. "But everything's been good, and I've (gone) through what all the three, four different doctors have said. And everything's looked well, and I'm out of it now."

Mahomes has been practicing all week. He was a limited participant on Wednesday and saw more activity on Thursday. The 2018 NFL MVP had to complete all five steps of the NFL's concussion protocol in order to play on Sunday. Before Mahomes' announcement, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he had just one more step to complete in protocol. If Mahomes wasn't cleared to play for Sunday, backup quarterback Chad Henne would have been under center. The Bills have been preparing as if Mahomes will play.

"I guess at the beginning of the week we weren't quite sure, and we really won't know, I guess,'' Bill coach Sean McDermott said, as reported by ESPN. "It's probably trending in that direction, so that's what we're anticipating.'' With Mahomes playing on Sunday, the Chiefs have increased their chances of defending their Super Bowl title. They are facing a Bills team that hasn't lost a game since Nov. 15 against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Chiefs know they are going to have their hands full, which means Mahomes and company will have to get off to a fast start in order to secure a trip to the Super Bowl. In last week's playoff game against the Browns, Kansas City jumped out to a 19-3 lead to earn the 22-17 win. Before the injury, Mahomes threw for 255 yards and one touchdowns while rushing for another score. In his six career playoff games, Mahomes has posted a 5-1 record and has thrown for 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Those two picks came in the Super Bowl last year, and Mahomes still was named Super Bowl MVP.