5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Week 9
By Chris Schad
Chiefs will not risk Mahomes’ health
The biggest question coming into the game is whether Patrick Mahomes will play. The Chiefs star has been a cheat code since becoming a starter at the beginning of last season. But as his leg literally turned sideways recently, there was a good chance that Mahomes would be out for an extended period of time.
As it has turned out, however, Mahomes’ recovery abilities are on par with his ability to throw a football 50 yards in any arm angle he chooses. Mahomes did some light practicing in the build-up to the Green Bay game last week and while he didn’t play amid a report he was targeting a Week 10 return, early reports this week suggest there’s a chance he’ll suit up against the Vikings.
The biggest reason for playing Mahomes is that the Chiefs are in a tight playoff race in the AFC. Although they’re currently sitting at fourth in the AFC playoff picture, they’re in a log jam along with Baltimore and Indianapolis (who are both 5-2) in the race for a first-round bye.
While the opportunity to get a week to rest and avoid the New England Patriots until the AFC Championship sounds great, Kansas City also has their own division pretty much sewn up with Oakland (3-4), Los Angeles (3-5) and Denver (2-5) already falling to the 5-3 Chiefs this season.
In addition, the Chiefs’ schedule gets easier after facing Minnesota with one team currently over .500 (the Patriots) remaining in the final eight games.
Mahomes has gotten in a limited practice on both Wednesday and Thursday this week and Andy Reid cautioned that he would let the doctors decide if his quarterback should hit the field on Sunday. Perhaps, I’m biased, but I think the Chiefs will play it safe and let Mahomes catch up with a monster second half.