Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid made fans feel a little better this week when he suggested that Patrick Mahomes’ ankle sprain isn’t as bad as the ankle injury he suffered in 2019.

“I think this one isn’t quite as bad as that one,” said Reid this week. “But it’s similar. Sore, but not quite the same.”

Mahomes passed for over 400 yards the next week against the Raiders in 2019, but that injury was to his left ankle. The injury he suffered against the Jaguars was to his right ankle, which impacts Mahomes’ ability to plant and throw.

Still, the fact that Mahomes played through a worse injury in 2019 is a positive for the Chiefs ahead of their AFC Championship showdown with the Bengals on Sunday.

That information from Reid combined with information about the last time the Chiefs and the Bengals played suggests that Mahomes’ injury won’t be as big of a concern for Kansas City as expected.

The Chiefs lost 27-24 to the Bengals in Cincinnati earlier this season in a close game that could’ve gone either way.

In that matchup, the Chiefs were essentially unable to throw the ball inside the Bengals’ 30-yard line. Cincinnati managed to shut down the passing game so the Chiefs had to rely on running the ball.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Charlie Goldsmith, Kansas City had 66 rushing yards inside the Bengals’ 30-yard line in that matchup. Mahomes, on the other hand, was just 1-of-6 for two yards inside the 30-yard line.

I know there’s been plenty of talk this week about the Bengals possibly altering their defensive approach against KC, and I have no doubt that Cincy defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo will get creative with his looks, but I don’t think they can sell out to stop the run.

Mahomes, even on one leg, is a dangerous passer. We saw against the Jagaurs that he can still make amazing plays even when he’s nowhere close to 100 percent.

If the Bengals sell out to stop the run, they run the risk of getting beat by the Mahomes/Travis Kelce combination. I think they’ll have to respect every part of the Chiefs’ offense.

And since the Chiefs were able to exploit the Bengals’ run defense in the last matchup (5.5 yards per carry), I’d expect a similar approach from Kansas City this week. And that likely would’ve been the case even if Mahomes was 100 percent healthy.

The injury to Mahomes isn’t ideal. And we don’t fully know how it will impact him on Sunday. But because of Cincinnati’s defensive approach, it might not have as big of an effect on the outcome of this matchup as we previously thought it might.

Featured image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Chiefs win the Super Bowl?