Patrick Mahomes helped off after brutal hit as Chiefs fall to 3-4

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Already in the midst of a career-worst game Sunday against Tennessee, Patrick Mahomes’ day somehow got worse late in the fourth quarter when Denico Autry dropped him for an eight-yard loss on fourth and 18, injuring Mahomes in the process. The quarterback landed awkwardly, appearing to make contact with Jeffrey Simmons’ knee as he fell to the turf.

Noticeably shaken up, Mahomes got up gingerly with teammates helping him off the field. The former MVP appeared to be in good spirits on the Chiefs sideline but would not return, ceding signal-calling duties to backup Chad Henne as Kansas City would fall 27-3 in the most lopsided defeat of Mahomes’ five-year NFL career. It’s unclear if Mahomes’ absence down the stretch was due to an injury or if coach Andy Reid had simply seen enough, waving the white flag in a game the Chiefs had no chance of winning. CBS announced on their broadcast that Mahomes, after a brief evaluation, was cleared of any concussion symptoms.

The Chiefs have represented the AFC in each of the last two Super Bowls, but you wouldn’t know it from their tepid 3-4 start, getting outclassed in losses to the Titans, Bills, Ravens and Chargers. Despite leading the league with 18 touchdown passes, Mahomes hasn’t been himself this season, making uncharacteristic mistakes while not looking as mobile as he has in years past, which could be the byproduct of his offseason foot surgery. The Titans pummeled Mahomes Sunday as the three-time Pro Bowler took a beating (he lost 31 yards on four sacks) behind a lethargic Chiefs offensive line.

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Much has been made of Kansas City’s anemic defense this year (fourth-most points allowed), but their stagnant offense did them no favors Sunday, failing to produce a touchdown for the first time in Mahomes’ career as a starter (excluding their Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay this past February). Already with more interceptions (nine) than he had a year ago, Mahomes will have an extra day to get healthy ahead of Kansas City’s Monday night showdown with the Giants in Week 8.

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