Kansas City, Mo. — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes escaped significant ligament damage when he dislocated his right kneecap and there is optimism the reigning NFL MVP could be back on the field in about a month.
Mahomes had an MRI exam Friday that showed the ligaments were intact, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team was still sorting through the results and putting together a timetable for his return.
The Chiefs play Green Bay a week from Sunday, then face the Vikings and Titans before a Monday night matchup against Tennessee on Nov. 18. The Chiefs (5-2) have their bye the following week, so it is possible they hold Mahomes out until their game against Oakland on Dec. 1.
“The kid had the MRI and we don’t have all the information. That’s what I can give you,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Friday. “Once we get the information, we can give you everything that kind of happened and what’s going on down the road. The whole deal.”
Mahomes was hurt during the Chiefs’ 30-6 win in Denver on Thursday night while sneaking for first down on fourth-and-short deep in Broncos territory. Everyone jumped up from the pile but Mahomes, who quickly reached for his right knee as trainers rushed onto the field.
Physicians used what is called a reduction maneuver to guide the patella back into place, and Mahomes was helped to his feet and shooed away a waiting cart. As players from both teams gathered to pat him on the back, Mahomes limped off the field and to the locker room with little assistance.
Mahomes was only in the X-ray room for a couple minutes before he was ruled out.
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The Chiefs led 13-6 when Mahomes left and journeyman quarterback Matt Moore, who was signed just before the season when backup Chad Henne broke his ankle, finished the game. Moore wound up going 10-of-19 for 117 yards, a good chunk of it coming on a 57-yard scoring strike to Tyreek Hill.
“It’s hard to do, really the whole thing he’s done, coming in late to us,” Reid said. “Then it’s hard to be a relief pitcher. He’s done it before. There’s a certain way to prep for that and he understands that. It paid off for him. The best part is we didn’t have to change up a lot of things. The hard thing is if the guy comes in, the backup, and you have to change the whole offense.”
Reid indicated that Moore would be the starter going forward, and that rookie Kyle Shurmur – the son of longtime NFL coach Pat Shurmur — could be elevated from the practice squad as the backup.
“I shorted some throws and missed some stuff, some stuff I think the quarterback should hit,” Moore said, “but I kind of got into a little rhythm there as the game went on and Coach Reid had a nice flow going on with play calls and made me feel comfortable as we went on down.”
Henne is making progress and could be ready to come off injured reserve in Week 8.
Moore and the Chiefs have the benefit of a few extra days by virtue of playing Thursday night, though Reid said he was following through on his plan to give the team a few days off. The team will reconvene after the weekend before a Sunday night showdown against the Packers.
By that point, the Chiefs could have wide receiver Sammy Watkins back from a hamstring injury, and left tackle Eric Fisher (groin) and left guard Andrew Wylie (ankle) could be close to returning.
“Again, I don’t think we’ll have to change the whole offense,” Reid said, “but definitely that is part of being a coach and knowing your players. You want to put them in the best position for what they do best, then work on those things to get them better on the things they don’t do best.
“We’ll look at what (Moore) does best and talk and put together a good game plan.”
Jets left guard Kelechi Osemele says he needs a season-ending operation on his shoulder and is waiting for the team to authorize the procedure. The team, however, wants him on the field.
Osemele said the team doctor and an independent doctor in California have both recommended the surgery for a torn labrum. But a person with direct knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press both doctors determined it is actually a pre-existing injury and cleared Osemele to play through the injury — and possibly have surgery in the offseason.
“It’s been killing me,” Osemele said. “I’m just trying to get this done. I’ve done everything I can. I’ve been at work every day, waking up at 5 in the morning, doing all the rehab and the treatments and stuff like that. I’m like the last dude out of here at night. I’m doing everything I can. I’m working with my agent. We’re communicating with the team.
“There’s just not communication between the team and my doctor and my agent. It’s just been butting heads for whatever reason. Hopefully, it gets resolved soon.”
Osemele was later told he’s expected to practice Saturday or face a fine and/or suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team has not publicly commented on the situation.
“There’s no avoiding it,” Osemele said of the surgery, adding that he doesn’t have the strength in his shoulder to block.
“It’s torn,” he added. “So until it’s fixed, I can’t really do anything.”
The Jets acquired the 30-year-old Osemele and a sixth-round draft pick from Oakland in March for a fifth-rounder. The two-time Pro Bowl selection said he was initially hurt on Aug. 5 during training camp and re-injured his shoulder at New England on Sept. 22.
He hasn’t played or practiced since. Alex Lewis has started at left guard in his place the last two games.
Saquon Barkley has been cleared to return to the Giants’ lineup for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.
... The Rams expect cornerback Jalen Ramsey to play on Sunday in Atlanta.
... Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant will miss his second straight game with a toe injury.
... The Eagles will be without nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters when they visit the Cowboys.
... Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who has been out since Sept. 29 with a left shoulder injury, will be a game-time decision Sunday against the Saints.
... The Saints have ruled out top running back Alvin Kamara and top receiving tight end Jared Cook for Sunday’s game in Chicago.