The AFC Championship game will take place in Kansas City next week. All of K.C. will hold its breath in hopes Patrick Mahomes will be available to face the Buffalo Bills.
Mahomes was downgraded to out after being evaluated for a concussion in Sunday's 22-17 Divisional Round victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Despite the scary scene that unfolded after Mahomes was hit, coach Andy Reid sounded optimistic about his quarterback's condition after the game.
"He got hit in the back of the head and kinda knocked the wind out of him and everything else with it," Reid said. "He's doing great right now which is a real positive as we looked at this. Passed all the deals that he needed to pass so we'll see where it goes from here."
Mahomes went to the locker room midway through the third quarter after being yanked to the ground on a third-down speed option keeper. After getting hogtied to the turf, Mahomes got up wobbly. He was helped off the field. Once on the sideline, the signal-caller jogged to the locker room.
Veteran QB Chad Henne took over and led K.C. to a field goal that extended its lead to 22-10. Cleveland responded to pull within 22-17 as Mahomes was officially ruled out with more than 11 minutes remaining in the contest.
Henne made a couple of big-time throws to help move the Chiefs' offense but also had a wayward arm-punt interception that cost K.C. a chance to extend the lead. After the Chiefs defense held, Henne made a couple of massive plays, including a 13-yard run on third-and-14 and the game-sealing throw on fourth down near midfield.
"Everybody has full confidence in him. I mean, you saw how the team reacted on that run. We thought we had it," Reid said of Henne. "I thought it was a heck of a throw the second play. We go through all of those Saturday night with the quarterbacks and those situations, fourth-and-1 to win the game. What do you want? And that play happened to be there."
Mahomes also approved of the toughness Henne displayed to secure the win.
Before exiting, Mahomes completed 21-of-30 passes for 255 yards and a TD. He also added three runs for 14 yards and another score.
Earlier in the game, the reigning Super Bowl MVP dealt with a left big toe injury that left him limping. That injury didn't cause him to miss time.
With K.C. moving on to face Buffalo, Mahomes' status will be heavily monitored this week. He'll have to pass through protocol in order to play in his third-straight AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium.
Reid showed confidence in Henne, calling passes late when other coaches would have been content to milk the clock and punt. The fourth-down call displayed huge onions by the coach, especially with a backup QB.
Reid's teams have done well with backup QBs in the past, but playing for the right to reach the Super Bowl with a No. 2 signal-caller would be a different matter.
With Mahomes in the league's concussion protocol and dealing with toe injury, the world will have to wait to see if the league's most dynamic player will be available next week.