KANSAS CITY, Mo. — He's playing.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes cleared the NFL concussion protocol Friday, paving the way for him to start in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the visiting Buffalo Bills.
He was officially cleared by team physicians and an independent neurological consultant shortly after Friday's practice, in which he'd participated.
"The week has been a bunch of testing, a bunch of different things to make sure I'm good to go and there's no lingering effects or anything like that. But everything's been good," Mahomes said. "I've went through what three or four different doctors have said. Everything's looked well, and I'm out of (the protocol) now."
Mahomes entered the NFL concussion protocol Sunday after taking a hit while running an option play. He attempted to stand but instead stumbled into the arms of teammate Mike Remmers, a visible sign that was enough to prompt his removal from the game.
He practiced Wednesday and Thursday on a limited basis while progressing through the league's mandated protocol, a five-step process that concludes with the doctor clearance that came Friday.
Mahomes said he's experienced no symptoms this week in the aftermath of the hit.
"You have to take it day by day — that's the biggest thing," Mahomes said. "You can only control what you can control. For me, that was coming in every single day with a positive attitude, trying to make myself better, preparing myself as if I was going to play.
"Luckily enough, I haven't had any symptoms, and I'm able to play. I just prepared myself and controlled what I could control. And luckily enough, we're at where we're at now."
Mahomes said he has a vivid memory of the play. Asked what he remembers about those moments, he said, "We had an option play called that we ran a little bit earlier in the game. I ran out to the right, obviously got hit, tried to get up, felt my legs go out, knew that wasn't a good thing. So I was able to get grabbed (by Remmers)
"I remember before going off the field, I was telling the trainers to let me stay there so (backup) Chad (Henne) could warm up. I knew that we were about to go for it on that fourth down. And (then) I went into the testing and everything like that."
Mahomes has also been listed on the injury report this week with a toe issue he suffered during Sunday's game. He described the toe as "very sore" on Monday but it has steadily improved throughout the week.
"It's feeling a lot better," he said. "The next day was very sore, and every single day since then has gotten a lot better. It's stuff that you deal with being a football player — you deal with injuries. And luckily enough for me, it wasn't as bad as it looked or (as bad as) it felt that day and the day after."(c)2021 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.