Patrick Mahomes made one thing obvious during the course of a week. The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player wants to play football.
But on Friday the Kansas City Chiefs made the decision for him that he’ll be assigned a clipboard Sunday at Lambeau Field with Matt Moore making his first start since the 11th game of the 2017 season.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Friday that Mahomes “just wasn’t ready.” There is a possibility he could play next week against the Minnesota Vikings.
Mahomes went from writhing in pain during his previous game, to being helped to the sideline, to having a dislocated kneecap popped into place, to walking into the locker room, to reportedly being out three weeks, to practicing Wednesday and Thursday in a limited capacity.
Kansas City (5-2) will, nonetheless, need to summon every ounce of fortitude against Green Bay (6-1) and its standout quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who is coming off a perfect passer rating in a 42-24 win over the Oakland Raiders.
After stretching and jogging Wednesday in his first practice since the injury, Mahomes did some handoffs and executed simple throws. Moore, also participated in drills along with Chad Henne and Kyle Shurmur. Henne has been out with a broken ankle and cannot be activated until next week, meaning Shurmur will be active in Sunday’s game.
“It’s kind of a tricky deal right now,” said Moore, an 11th-year veteran who didn’t play anywhere last season and hadn’t taken a first-team rep with the Chiefs before replacing Mahomes against the Broncos. Moore fired a 57-yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill while passing for 117 yards.
The experience possessed by Moore, who quarterbacked the Miami Dolphins in the 2016 playoffs, makes the Chiefs “lucky to have him,” Reid added.
Mahomes leads the NFL with 2,180 passing yards and has thrown one interception in 241 attempts with 15 TDs.
Rodgers was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week after passing for 429 yards and five touchdowns and compiling a perfect 158.3 rating in the rout of Oakland.
First-year Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur, however, deflected any talk about perfection as a team.
“There’s never going to be a perfect game,” LaFleur said, “and there’s always room for improvement. That’s always going to be the constant theme. ...
“All I know is we’re going to Kansas City this week, and they’re a damn good football team.”
Packers wide receiver Davante Adams went through practice warmups early in the week after injuring his right toe against Philadelphia in Week 4, and he is day-to-day. Adams said on Friday he’s feeling “not quite there yet” but is officially a game-time decision.
“When you tear a ligament,” Adams said of his toe injury. “It’s not about toughing it out. Your toe doesn’t respond the same way.”
Three key starters for Kansas City — offensive tackle Eric Fisher (groin), wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) and defensive tackle Chris Jones (groin) — received optimistic assessments from Reid.
—Field Level Media