Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes reflected on a whirlwind 36 hours that ended with a victory over the Patriots during his weekly appearance on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City on Tuesday afternoon.
In a season that has required flexibility from all involved in the sport, Mahomes and the Chiefs were dealt their first major curveball when the Week 4 contest against New England was postponed from Sunday to Monday after Pats quarterback Cam Newton reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.
Being prepared for the unexpected is key, Mahomes said, adding that he only learned of the Patriots' situation during a light practice on Saturday.
"We were at the facility, going through our normal walk-throughs the day before the game. And after the walk-through coach let us know that the game had been postponed. Obviously we didn't know when it was postponed to ... eventually they got back to us and told us it was looking like Monday.
"You just have to be prepared for everything this year," he said, "knowing with all the stuff going on in this world, that you have to be able to accept the challenge of going out there and have success."
That sounds great in theory -- but how does Mahomes try to achieve it? He says it requires a degree of sacrifice.
"I think the best thing you can do is just know the people you're around," he said. "I make sure everyone I'm around is tested or has been tested recently. I try to keep those numbers down as minimal as possible. I don't go out to eat -- I just kind of sit at home.
"You have to sacrifice some things if you want to go out there and have success in the season, and knowing the times that we're in, you don't want to hurt yourself as much as you don't want to hurt anyone else."
One of those sacrifices involves frequent testing, which Mahomes revealed isn't as uncomfortable as it once appeared in the early days of the pandemic.
"We're getting the nasal swab test," he said. "It's not the one you saw, like when it first started coming out, where it was all the way up in your nasal cavity. But it is the nasal swab, and you just have to sacrifice things when you want to go out here and play football, and do things to raise everybody's spirits and do the things that that you love. And so, that's one of the things that you have to do these days, and it looks like it's been going well for the most part. Obviously there's been a couple positive tests here and there, but for the most part guys have been doing a great job."
The unexpected off-day in Week 4 gave Mahomes a different perspective on NFL Sundays, which he enjoyed from his home man cave.
"I have three TVs and another TV over in the bar area, and I have a recliner and a couch. It's a pretty good setup, and I was able to watch a lot of the games. It was entertaining football Saturday and Sunday."
It's not necessarily something Mahomes wants to get used to, but he said everyone must play their part to ensure as safe a season as possible.
"It's definitely been different. You just have to trust the process, trust the protocols that have been put in place.
"I think the biggest thing is you can't relax with this. We were doing really good in the NFL, there were no positive tests for a couple weeks, and everybody was feeling really good about it. But with COVID, you can't relax, you can't let up. You have to make sure you stay with the protocols, and if you do, I believe we can get through the season and do it the right way."