BY DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports journalist
KANSAS CITY, MO (AP) – Patrick Mahomes, quarterback for the Kansas City chief, is undergoing training camp this week for the lawn toe injury he sustained in the playoffs.
Mahomes met with coaches and coaches on Monday, the day after the Chiefs were beaten 31-9 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, and the decision was made to have surgery later in the week, one said person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity as the plans had not been made public.
NFL Network first reported that Mahomes would have surgery on Wednesday.
Mahomes had his worst game as an NFL quarterback on Sunday, being pressured on 29 of his 59 dropbacks – the most in Super Bowl history – behind a patchwork offensive line that was decimated this season by opt-outs and injuries.
He landed 26 of 49 for 270 yards with two interceptions and no touchdown passes. It was the fifth time in 54 career games, including the playoffs, that Mahomes failed to throw a TD pass and the first time the Chiefs failed to reach the end zone at all. His passerby rating of 52.3 was more than 10 points below the previous worst of his career.
“Starting today, I’ll do everything I can to watch the movie and find ways to get better,” Mahomes said on Monday, about 14 hours after the Super Bowl ended. “With our offense and the success we’ve had, the teams will obviously try to do the same when they see the defense plan they had and how well it worked.”
The Buccaneers pushed outward, making sure the defenders stayed above the Chiefs’ speed guys. Linebackers then had Travis Kelce monitored in the middle. With his main options covered, this forced Mahomes to look at his third and fourth options, which gave Tampa Bay ample time to put pressure on him.
It didn’t help that the Chiefs only had one offensive lineman – center Austin Reiter – scheduled to start this season, and that Mahomes couldn’t walk as effectively on his sore foot.
“I mean, I can’t say the toe was a problem when I played two weeks ago and played well on it,” Mahomes said afterwards.
Head coach Andy Reid tried to blame Mahomes’ poor performance and the rest of the offensive in the Super Bowl, pointing out that his 25-year-old quarterback has only three years of experience in the NFL left.
“It will continue to grow here,” said Reid. “He played out his heart, but like all of us it was obviously not good enough. Neither of us, starting with me, can sit here and say we really had our best game. But he sure has a great foundation and a great drive to be the best. So we’re going to regroup and give him a few things to work on, and I’m sure he has a few on his mind too. “
On other news, Reid said he would discuss with offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy the direction he would like his career to take. Bieniemy’s contract partially expired after the Super Bowl because the Chiefs never thought he would get through another round of coaching hiring without getting a job as head coach anywhere else.
Bieniemy has interviewed more than a dozen teams in the past two seasons without being hired.
“We’ll let everything work out when we get here,” said Reid, “what’s fresh from it, we haven’t slept much, obviously we came back here when we did that. But we’ll take care of everything.” this next week and we’ll see where it all goes. “
Chiefs staff will have at least one makeover for the next season after running backs coach Deland McCullough was hired as the deputy head coach and running backs coach in Indiana. McCullough coached the Hoosiers running backs for six seasons before spending the last three years coaching the running backs in Kansas City.
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