Patrick Mahomes suffered a concussion during the Kansas City Chiefs’ first post season game against the Cleveland Browns. The quarterback had to leave early, but the Chiefs managed to win the game, thanks largely to Mahomes orchestrating the Chiefs’ offense while still on the field.
However, with the conference final only days away, it’s up for debate whether Mahomes will have enough time to recuperate from his injury and return in time for the game against the Buffalo Bills.
Favre: Be Careful!
Former Green Bay Packers quarterback and Hall of Famer Brett Favre is someone who knows the dangers of playing with a concussion. He advises the NFL’s best young quarterback not to take his injury lightly and take all necessary precautions to avoid future complications.
Favre realized that Mahomes would most likely choose to play if given a chance. However, he had two words for the young and talented quarterback: “Be careful!“
Favre is no stranger to concussions not being taken seriously and can provide some first-hand advice regarding their potential damage, which is only evident later in life.
A Different Era
The Green Bay Packers quarterback played during an era when the NFL didn’t have a concussions protocol as it does now.
As a result, when deciding whether to play a game, he alone had the final decision. If he decided to play with a head injury, then he would have been on the field together with his teammates, no questions asked.
Now, Favre has changed his tune and advocates caution. He said that he would understand if people didn’t take what he said seriously, as he played 321 straight games back in his day.
However, the former quarterback admits that he had never had to make a decision like the one Mahomes would have to make this week. As a result, he stressed just how important it was for Mahomes to be smart when deciding whether he should play.
Chiefs’ coach Andy Reid seems aware that Mahomes’ participation in the Bills game wouldn’t have been debated as it is today if it happened in Favre’s time.
He said that back in the day, Mahomes would have probably returned as early as the Browns game he got injured in. He pointed out that he had run through to the tunnel without a problem and was feeling pretty good at that point.
Chiefs Doctors Should Decide
Favre thinks that the decision should only be made by Chiefs’ doctors and no one else. He said that if they chose that Mahomes shouldn’t play, then that’s the right move. The long-term damage sustained to the brain can be significant.
He went on to warn Mahomes that even though he might feel invincible and bulletproof presently, he might end up regretting his decision to play later on. Favre said that, as a 51-year-old, he didn’t know what the next day would bring because of the concussions he had suffered in the past and wouldn’t want Mahomes to be in the same position in the future.
Will the NFL Insist that Mahomes Should Play?
Another point that Favre touched upon in his interview was whether the NFL was ready to take the hit of Mahomes not playing in what might be the most important Chiefs game in the season until now.
Favre said that Mahomes’ concussion is also a test for the NFL. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is the NFL’s poster-child, and he is about to play in a crucial game for his team and the league.
Favre said that the NFL must follow the concussion protocol that they put in place and not be tempted to make any other decision that would be detrimental to the player’s long-term health.
Favre has no doubt that if the decision came down to how Mahomes felt, he would play against the Bills. He went on to say that even he was fine during the week but had a headache on Friday, he wouldn’t mention it to the team doctors. Moreover, the doctors would probably let him play anyway. They always tend to clear a player who feels fine if they don’t see any evidence pointing to the contrary.
However, according to Favre, Mahomes playing will be a test for both the neurologist on the Chiefs’ team and the league. After all, the neurologist is independent, but he is still tied to the league. It is crucial now, more than ever, for the NFL not to pressure the Chiefs’ doctors to make a decision that will suit everyone but the player’s long-term health.