Report: Mahomes remains in concussion protocol; status uncertain
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains in the NFL's concussion protocol Tuesday but is expected to practice Wednesday, ESPN reported.There is optimism among the Chiefs that Mahomes will play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills, but the former NFL MVP's status is still uncertain.ESPN reported Mahomes cleared "some big steps" on Monday. Mahomes is also dealing with a toe issue, per the report. Mahomes was limping in Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns prior to leaving the game with a concussion midway through the third quarter.Mahomes passed for 255 yards and one touchdown against the Browns. Chad Henne replaced Mahomes and completed 6 of 8 passes for 66 yards and an interception in the end zone. Henne also rushed twice for 12 yards.
Chiefs lose Mahomes, defeat Browns to reach AFC title game
Backup quarterback Chad Henne gained 13 yards on a scramble, then threw a stunning fourth-and-inches completion to Tyreek Hill with less than two minutes remaining on Sunday as the host Kansas City Chiefs finished off the Cleveland Browns 22-17 to reach the AFC Championship Game.Henne replaced Patrick Mahomes, who appeared to come away with a head injury at the 7:47 mark of the third quarter after he was tackled by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson on an option keeper.Mahomes, who will have to go through concussion protocol to determine his availability for the AFC title game, passed for 255 yards and one touchdown.The defending Super Bowl champions became the first AFC team to play host to a conference championship for a third consecutive season. They will face the Buffalo Bills, a team Kansas City defeated 26-17 on Oct. 19.Henne was intercepted by Cleveland's Karl Joseph in the end zone with 8:10 remaining but the Browns' drive to potentiallt lake the lead stalled and they were forced to punt. The Chiefs then ran out the final 4:09.Hill and Travis Kelce each had eight receptions for 110 and 109 yards, respectively. Darrel Williams, in his first NFL start, added 78 yards on 13 carries and had four receptions.The Chiefs scored on each of their four first-half possessions while generating 293 yards to build a 19-3 halftime margin.
Chiefs' QB Patrick Mahomes ruled out after third quarter hit
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was ruled out of Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday after a third-quarter hit appeared to leave him woozy.Mahomes kept the ball while running an option play on third down and 1. He faked a pitch and try to dive for first-down yardage as he was met by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson. Mahomes' head appeared to get pulled to the turf as Wilson brought him to the ground.The reigning NFL MVP needed help getting to his feet before he was taken into the team's medical tent on the sideline. Mahomes then ran into the Chiefs locker room.Mahomes was 21-of-30 passing for 255 yards and one touchdown when he left the game. He also had 14 rushing yards on three carries.
Chiefs underdogs if Patrick Mahomes unable to face Bills
The Kansas City Chiefs will be underdogs in the AFC Championship Game if quarterback Patrick Mahomes isn't available to face the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.Mahomes will have to pass through the league's concussion protocol after being knocked out of Sunday's 22-17 win over the Cleveland Browns.SportsBetting.com said the Chiefs were listed as four-point favorites in a projected matchup against the Bills before Mahomes was injured. If Mahomes is not able to play, the sportsbook said Buffalo would be a 2-point favorite. Mahomes' status also affects the Over/Under, which would be set at 56 points if he's able to play and 51 points if he's not.Mahomes exited at the 7:47 mark of the third quarter after being tackled on an option keeper. He was first evaluated on the sideline before heading to the locker room for further tests and was later ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Injured Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire inactive vs. Browns
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was one of the team's inactives for Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game against the visiting Cleveland Browns.Edwards-Helaire is dealing with ankle and hip injuries and didn't practice on Thursday and Friday. He missed the final two games of the regular season due to the injuries.Edwards-Helaire led the Chiefs with 803 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns during the regular season.Darrel Williams, who started, and Le'Veon Bell will receive the bulk of the workload in Edwards-Helaire's absence.Also inactive for the Chiefs due to injuries are receiver Sammy Watkins (calf), linebacker Willie Gay (ankle) and cornerback Rashad Fenton (foot/ankle). The team's other inactives are offensive tackle Martinas Rankin, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders and defensive end Tim Ward.
Chiefs' Clyde Edwards-Helaire questionable vs. Browns
Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is questionable for Sunday's AFC divisional round playoff game against the Cleveland Browns despite missing practice for the second straight day.Chiefs coach Andy Reid announced the playing statuses of Edwards-Helaire, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and linebacker Willie Gay on Friday. Watkins (calf) and Gay (ankle) were ruled out of Sunday's home game.Edwards-Helaire, who is nursing hip and ankle injuries, missed the final two games of the regular season.Despite those absences, Edwards-Helaire recorded team-leading totals in carries (181), rushing yards (803) and rushing touchdowns (four). He also had 36 catches for 297 yards and a score since being selected by Kansas City with the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.Running backs Le'Veon Bell and Darrel Williams would see an increase in snaps should Edwards-Helaire be limited or unable to play against Cleveland.
Divisional Playoffs dividing bettors for Sunday games
The Cleveland Browns are 10-point underdogs as Sunday's Divisional Playoff game at Kansas City approaches, and the largest spread line of the weekend is dividing bettors.The Chiefs (14-2) are coming off a bye week as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They're rested and playing host to a Browns team still managing its way through a COVID-19 outbreak.However, Kansas City has failed to cover the spread in eight consecutive games. The Chiefs are being backed by 59 percent of the spread handle at BetRivers.com and 52 percent at DraftKings, but only 42 percent at FanDuel as of Friday.Bettors are showing much more confidence in the Chiefs' moneyline, backing them with 89 percent of the handle at -500 at FanDuel and 89 percent at DraftKings. BetRivers.com is offering Kansas City at -480, which is being backed by 86 percent of the handle.The Over/Under has been set at 57 percent by all three sportsbooks. The Over is being backed by 89 percent of the handle at FanDuel, 85 percent at BetRivers.com and 83 percent at DraftKings.The Browns are coming off an explosive 48-37 upset of Pittsburgh in the wild-card round, which elevated them into Sunday's game.Despite sitting out the Jan. 3 setback to the Los Angeles Chargers, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes helped engineer a 14-2 season for Kansas City while passing for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns. He will square off against Baker Mayfield as they reprise their old Big 12 shootouts.The Chiefs scored at least 31 points in each of their postseason wins a year ago. Travis Kelce, who set an NFL record for tight ends with 1,416 receiving yards, also sat out the defeat against the Chargers, which snapped a 10-game Chiefs winning streak.The final game of the Divisional Playoffs will feature future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and Drew Brees going toe-to-toe in what could be another shootout.DraftKings and FanDuel have both set the Over/Under for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints game at 52, with the Over being backed by 81 percent of the handle at the former and 83 percent at the latter.Brees' Saints are 3-point favorites at all three books.New Orleans swept the regular-season series, but the Bucs are being backed by 63 percent of the spread handle at BetRivers and 56 percent at FanDuel.The action is more divided at DraftKings, where the Saints are backed by 51 percent of the spread handle. However, the Bucs (+175) are backed by 75 percent of the moneyline handle. Tampa Bay is being backed by 72 percent of the moneyline handle at BetRivers at +155, and 68 percent at FanDuel at +148.New Orleans is the only team to have defeated Brady twice in the same season.
Well-rested Chiefs host upset-minded Browns
Time off for Patrick Mahomes has not equated to time away from football.He practiced for the Kansas City Chiefs. He cheered teammates on while sitting out the last regular-season game. And then last week, with the bye that goes to the top seed in the AFC playoffs, Mahomes scouted opponents.He will rely on what he learned about the Cleveland Browns, who will be coming off an explosive 48-37 upset of Pittsburgh in the wild-card round, which elevated them into the divisional round Sunday at Kansas City, Mo."I had a day's worth of film on the Browns," said Mahomes, "so whenever we found that out, I was able to look back at that and look at my notes and see how it presents to us."Despite sitting out the Jan. 3 setback to the Los Angeles Chargers, Mahomes helped engineer a 14-2 season for Kansas City while passing for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns. He will square off against Baker Mayfield as they reprise their old Big 12 shootouts."To be able to play against him on this stage is going to be special," Mahomes said. "I mean, he went to Oklahoma, I went to Texas Tech, so he got the better of me in college, so I'll try to do my best to win in the NFL."Mahomes knows he has the weapons to accomplish that feat, especially after the Chiefs scored at least 31 points in each of their postseason wins a year ago. Travis Kelce, who set an NFL record for tight ends with 1,416 receiving yards, also sat out the defeat against the Chargers, which snapped a 10-game Chiefs' winning streak."Everybody kind of locks in a little bit more and gets excited to play when the playoffs come around, especially in this building, especially (Mahomes) himself," Kelce said.The same could be said of the Browns after claiming their first playoff win since 1994.Cleveland should regain several players off the reserve/COVID-19 list -- Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio was removed Friday -- while coach Kevin Stefanski returned to practice on Thursday after his own stint with the virus."We're looking forward to getting a full complement of guys," Stefanski said. "Anytime you get good players back, whether it be injury or COVID list, it's always a big boost for your entire team."Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson have been activated and will provide depth to a secondary that grabbed four interceptions against Pittsburgh. Receiver KhaDarel Hodge was also taken off coronavirus protocols.
Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire returns to practice
Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the final two games of the regular season.The move represents a positive sign for Edwards-Helaire's chances to play in Sunday's divisional playoff game versus the visiting Cleveland Browns."He just went right at it. Fearless with (his rehabilitation). And as a result, he's probably a little bit ahead," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Edwards-Helaire, who has been nursing hip and ankle injuries.Edwards-Helaire, 21, has team-leading totals in carries (181), rushing yards (803) and rushing touchdowns (four) since being selected by Kansas City with the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He also has 36 catches for 297 yards and a score.Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, also participated in practice on Wednesday.
Aaron Donald, Travis Kelce anchor All-Pro team
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce were unanimous selections to the 2020 Associated Press All-Pro team announced Friday.Donald and Kelce swept all 50 votes from a nationwide panel of media members.It is the sixth consecutive selection for Donald, 29, who registered 13.5 sacks for a Rams defense that finished No. 1 in the NFL in scoring defense and total defense.It is the third selection for Kelce (2016, 2018). The 31-year-old helped the Chiefs secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs and set a record for tight ends with 1,416 receiving yards.The Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts both had four players on the list.Quarterback and leading MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers (third selection), left tackle David Bakhtiari (second), center Corey Linsley (first) and wide receiver Davante Adams (first) helped the Packers (13-3) secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC.Left guard Quenton Nelson (third), linebacker Darius Leonard (second), defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and special teamer George Odum each earned their first All-Pro nods for the Colts, who finished 11-5 and earned a wild-card berth.Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry was honored for the first time after rushing for 2,027 yards and capturing his second straight NFL rushing title.
Reports: Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy completes five interviews
Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy interviewed with five NFL teams about their head coaching vacancies.He met Wednesday with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets following interviews earlier this week with the Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions, according to multiple news outlets.The only team with a vacancy that has not interviewed Bieniemy is the Houston Texans.
Herbert sets rookie passing records as Chargers dump Chiefs
Justin Herbert concluded his season with an NFL rookie record 31 touchdown passes, tossing three Sunday as the Los Angeles Chargers pounded the Kansas City Chiefs 38-21 at Kansas City, Mo.Herbert, the No. 6 overall pick out of Oregon, completed 22 of 31 attempts for 302 yards. The Chargers finished 7-9 with four straight victories while snapping a 10-game winning streak for the Chiefs (14-2).Elevated to starter in a week two overtime loss to Kansas City, Herbert also set a rookie record for completions (396). He threw for 4,336 yards, 38 short of the rookie record set by Andrew Luck in 2012. Herbert also tied a franchise record with his eighth 300-yard outing.Kansas City played without Patrick Mahomes and several other standouts, including Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu, after clinching the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs a week earlierDrawing his first start since 2014 with Jacksonville, Chad Henne passed for 218 yards and two touchdowns quarterbacking the Chiefs. Darwin Thompson posted 110 yards on 21 touches, with two scores.While it did not sit as many regulars as the Chiefs, Los Angeles played without several standouts, including Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Joey Bosa. The Chargers lost Austin Ekeler to a concussion late in the first half after he recorded 13 touches and caught a 5-yard TD pass.Herbert also fired TD strikes of 8 yards to Donald Parham and 48 yards to Mike Williams.
Chiefs' Hill, Watkins, Edwards-Helaire out vs. Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins as well as rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire have been ruled out for this weekend's game against the Los Angeles Chargers.Hill (hamstring), Watkins (calf) and Edwards-Helaire (ankle) are nursing injuries for the Chiefs (14-1), who have clinched the top seed in the AFC.Kansas City coach Andy Reid said earlier in the week that quarterback Chad Henne will start versus the visiting Chargers (6-9). Henne is getting the nod over Patrick Mahomes (rest).Running back Le'Veon Bell, who has been bothered by an ailing knee, returned to practice on Friday. He is questionable for Sunday's game.Hill, 26, has 87 receptions for 1,276 yards with a career-best 15 touchdowns this season.
Chiefs looking to stay healthy vs. Chargers
Apparently subbing for Patrick Mahomes provides a potential shot of youthful exuberance.With the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs already secured by Kansas City (14-1), the Chiefs will rest their MVP candidate Sunday when they play host to the Los Angeles Chargers (6-9).Mahomes' backup, Chad Henne, is no stranger to the NFL. That didn't prevent Chiefs coach Andy Reid, however, from telling his backup quarterback to go be a kid again."I think he's excited," Reid said. "I told him, ‘Act like you're 20, man, and try to remember those days and feel it.' He's all in."Henne, 35, will start for the first time since the first three games of the 2014 season with Jacksonville. He entered as a reserve in two blowouts this season, completing 5 of 6 passes while rushing for one touchdown after missing all of last season with a fractured ankle.Not quite the numbers Mahomes has posted leading Kansas City to 10 straight wins as the NFL passing leader with 4,740 yards.The Chiefs have already established a club-best win total and can set another franchise record with an 11th consecutive win in the same season.Nonetheless, Reid embraced the opportunity to rest several regulars before the Chiefs observe a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the playoffs."It's crazy to think it's my first (start) since 2014," Henne said. "I got all my games in when I was young and then I had like a five- or six-year span where I didn't get much playing time. I'm excited and excited about the group we're going to have out there."The lineup could lack some firepower the Chiefs typically deploy.Tyreek Hill (hamstring), Le'Veon Bell (knee), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) and Sammy Watkins (calf) all missed practice Wednesday. Travis Kelce could be another weapon the Chiefs sit since he has already set the NFL season record for receiving yardage (1,416) by a tight end and the franchise record for catches (105).
Chiefs dominating Super Bowl odds -- and action
The Kansas City Chiefs have the shortest Super Bowl odds, but that isn't dissuading bettors from backing the defending champions.The Chiefs are being offered at +190 by DraftKings, where they are being backed by 28 percent of the total bets and 21 percent of the total handle.Part of that is due to Kansas City being among the top two favorites throughout the season. The Baltimore Ravens passed them at some books early in the season, but quickly fell off following a loss to the Chiefs and are now fighting just to make the postseason.The Ravens are now +1400 to win the Super Bowl by DraftKings, but are still second only to the Chiefs with 10 percent of the total bets. Seven percent of the handle has been placed on Baltimore. Similarly, the Dallas Cowboys (+10000) are backed by three percent of the bets and handle despite needing to win and get some help on Sunday just to make the playoffs.Tampa Bay also made a surge up the odds before a midseason slump. They've clinched a wild-card spot and are backed by nine percent of the bets and 12 percent of the handle. The Buccaneers are currently being offered at +1100.
Chiefs QB Henne to start vs. Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes will receive a breather in this weekend's regular-season finale against the visiting Los Angeles Chargers.Chad Henne will start Sunday for the Chiefs (14-1), who have clinched the top seed in the AFC."Chad will go ahead and play, yeah," Reid said on Wednesday. "And there's a good chance that Matt (Moore) is up, but we'll see when it's all said and done how that all works out."Henne, 35, will start his first game since the 2014 season, when he played for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Kelce sets single-season mark for yardage by a tight end
Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce had 98 receiving yards on Sunday to set a new single-season record for a tight end with 1,416 yards.He surpassed the mark set by San Francisco's George Kittle, who had 1,377 in 2018.Kelce also caught seven passes in the 17-14 win over the Atlanta Falcons to raise his season total to a career-best 105 and become the first tight end to have 100 or more catches twice in a career. He also recorded his career-best 11th touchdown reception.Kelce, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, was more impressed that the Chiefs (14-1) earned the AFC's No. 1 seed for the postseason and landed the first-round bye than his individual accomplishments."To get a week of preparation, a week of really locking in and getting the body right that late in the season is so key, and it's much needed if you want to make that playoff push," Kelce said after the contest. "That's what you work your tail off for all season. I'm just proud to be a part of this team and be able to do it again this year."
Chiefs edge Falcons to clinch No. 1 seed in AFC
The Kansas City Chiefs overcame a sluggish offensive performance Sunday to clinch the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage in the AFC playoffs by edging the visiting Atlanta Falcons, 17-14.Patrick Mahomes completed 24 of 44 passes for 278 yards with two touchdowns and one of the Chiefs' two interceptions against an Atlanta defense that came in ranked 31st in the NFL against the pass.Mahomes' 25-yard touchdown strike to Demarcus Robinson with 2:01 remaining proved to be the game-winner that enabled Kansas City (14-1) to set a franchise record for regular season wins.Atlanta (4-11) put Younghoe Koo in position for a 39-yard field goal to force overtime but the Pro Bowl kicker missed with 9 seconds remaining. Before the misfire, Koo had made 35 of 36 field goals this season.Matt Ryan completed 27 of 35 passes for 300 yards and two scores, including a 5-yard touchdown to Laquon Treadwell with 4:33 left for a 14-10 lead. Calvin Ridley finished with 130 yards on five receptions.Despite 38 game-winning drives for his career, Ryan remains without such a march this season.Travis Kelce grabbed seven receptions for 98 yards, including two grabs on the Chiefs' game-winning drive. With 1,416 yards, Kelce broke George Kittle's NFL single-season record (1,377 in 2018) for receiving yards by a tight end.
WR Jones (hamstring) among four Falcons out vs. Chiefs
Receiver Julio Jones is among four Atlanta Falcons starters have been ruled for Sunday's game against at Kansas City, the team announced Friday.Jones' injured hamstring prevented him from practicing this week and will cause him to miss his third straight game and fourth out of the past five.Jones, 31, has caught 51 passes for 771 yards and three touchdowns in the nine games he's been active in this season for the Falcons (4-10), who have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Chiefs WR Hill (hamstring) misses practice
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill sat out Wednesday's practice due to a hamstring injury, coach Andy Reid said.Reid said Hill's hamstring tightened up during the Week 15 game against the New Orleans Saints. Reid said Hill should be able to play against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday."We're taking Tyreek day-by-day," Reid told reporters. "His hamstring tightened up on him a bit during the game. I think he's going to be fine I just want to make sure that thing gets a rest here today and then we'll just see how it goes tomorrow."If he needs a rest tomorrow, we'll rest him tomorrow. He went through the walkthrough and did all of that. I think he's going to be OK."Hill has 83 receptions for 1,211 yards and has an NFL-best 15 touchdown receptions this season.Hill was named a Pro Bowler for the fifth time earlier this week.Reid said rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) wasn't injured seriously in the game against New Orleans. Edwards-Helaire, who has rushed for 803 yards, isn't expected to play in the team's final two regular-season games.