Insider Patrick Mahomes’ ability to recover quickly: ‘He’s wired in a different way’

when Patrick Mahomes He was a small quarterback at Texas Tech, who sprained the AC joint in his right (throwing) shoulder in a home game against Kansas. The injury came on a Thursday night in late September, in the fourth game of the season, on a 32-yard rush and ended up shouldering Mahomes to the turf at Kansas defensive end. It was so intense that Mahomes left the game early.

his ex-father MLB The pitcher, Pat Mahomes, publicly asserted that surgery was not necessary, but the Texas Tech team thought he would miss at least a week, possibly more. When Texas Tech head coach Cliff Kingsbury was asked if he had reason to be optimistic, he didn’t have the most reassuring answer. “Because I didn’t see the coach jump off the side of the court,” he said.

However, nine days later, Mahomes returned to the field, completing 45 of 62 passes for 504 yards in a 44-38 road loss at Kansas State. He played quarterback through a sore shoulder for the rest of the season, his last at Texas Tech, but amassed 41 touchdowns, and impressed NFL Scout threw for 734 yards on 88 pass attempts in a loss to Oklahoma – a game in which he also broke a bone in his left wrist. wrist disease? That wasn’t a problem either. The next week, Mahomes returned to the field, leading the Red Raiders to a victory over UCLA. Years later, some of their former Texas Tech teammates didn’t even know their wrists were injured.

“I think he was wired differently,” said Zack Keatley, who was the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech in 2016. “I think the way he’s built, his body can’t take a lot of wear and tear. But unless he has a bone sticking out of his leg, he’ll play.” .

In five seasons as the starting quarterback, Mahomes has proven that he has abilities very rare on the football field. But perhaps his overlooked talent—which dates back to his high school days in Whitehouse, Texas—is his ability to bounce back from injuries and excel at them. Former coaches credit his ability to take pain. His teammates praise his innate strength and competitive fire. Friends marvel at his unusual brand of athleticism and body composition, a genetic makeup that seems to include flexible joints, loose ligaments, and remarkable healing powers, honed over years of working with a personal trainer.

“He’s moving forward now,” heads said coach Andy Reed.

“It’s a dog”, receiver Jojo Smith Schuster He said.

“I have no idea,” said Offensive Coordinator Eric Bienemy. “But I want whatever he takes.”

Eight days after he had a high ankle sprain Jacksonville Jaguars In the AFC Divisional round, Mahomes will try to conjure up those restoring powers again on Sunday, when he’s expected to play against the No. 3 seed. Cincinnati Bengals in the Asian Championship match. Mahomes has already overcome injuries twice to reach the Super Bowl, recovering from a dislocated knee in 2019 and playing through a toe in the 2020 playoffs. But if he’s going to lead the Chiefs to their third Super Bowl in the past four years, it may require more of his work. Flexible yet.

“A lot of greats have done it,” Mahomes said this week. “I think it’s just about being competitive. You want to be there, especially in these games.”

Mahomes’ ability to survive a near-disastrous injury was part of his growing legend heading into Sunday. In 2019, he wanted to play just one week after dislocating his knee vs Bronco. He settled for only a 23-day break, missing only two games.

Patrick Mahomes injured his knee on October 17, 2019, and was pressed to play the next week. (Tammy Leungblad/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

But his feats of endurance began in high school, when he suffered a foot injury that surfaced the summer before his senior year. Mahomes has spent the football season managing the problem, sometimes sitting out training while still starring every Friday night. But it wasn’t until the basketball season that Whitehouse coaches came to appreciate his ability to take pain. Mahomes has already received a football scholarship offer from Texas Tech and interest from MLB teams. And when he started playing district basketball in January, Mahomes’ foot injury worsened.

“I remember our coach saying to me, like, ‘Maybe we need to sit with him for a week and see how he is,’” said Brent Kelly, the White House basketball coach. He said, “No, I’m playing.”

Mahomes nursed the injury for the rest of the season, occasionally wearing a pair of shoes at school. But he never missed a match. Whitehouse has won nine in a row. Mahomes won the District Player of the Year award.

“I just remember sometimes that season, we’re on a time-out, and he’s literally holding his foot up,” Kelly said. He was really just trying to get her out.”

Former coaches believe that part of Mahomes’ ability to play through injury is his tremendous level of pain tolerance. In terms of his current injury, well, he actually survived a high ankle sprain in 2019 without missing a game. And when Mahomes suffered a toe injury vs Cleveland Browns In the group stage of the 2020 Qualifiers, he could barely walk without being very uncomfortable. It was, in his words, “the hardest injury” he had dealt with. “I remember having to bend my toes when I walked,” he said this week. (He also passed the NFL’s concussion protocol that same week.) Just seven days later, he started and was 29-of-38 for 325 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-20 victory over Invoices in the Asian Championship match. Two weeks later, however, the offensive line is worn out and intimidating Tampa Bay Buccaneers The pass rush beat Mahomes and the Chiefs, though he still bested at 275 yards.

Another component of his exceptional recovery ability stems from a 6-foot-2 frame that is surprisingly flexible. When Mahomes was in fourth grade, he began working out with Bobby Stroupe, a local coach near his home in Texas. Even then, Stroupe recognized Mahomes as a unique athlete among his peers. He was not the fastest, and he could not jump to the highest levels, but he had a supernatural ability to control his body.

“What kind of creep patterns,” Stroup said in an interview earlier this season. “Rolling, spinning, chopping, hitting, swinging – it was definitely on top.”

Nearly two decades later, Stroupe is still part of Mahomes’ inner circle. On most Mondays during the season, they engage in a workout regimen that includes 12 squats, 16 lunges, 20 movement patterns and a full gymnastics routine, which Stroupe likens to “motorcycle maintenance.”

“What we try to do is continually check different ranges of motion,” he said. “We are constantly trying to remind certain tissues that I need flexibility in this position. I need range of motion in this position.”

Mahomes’ resilience was shown earlier this season in the victory over the Buccaneers. In one of his patented off-text scrambles, Mahomes evaded a Bucs pass, swept to his right, looped one pass to throw another potential tackle near the goal line, then turned over a touchdown pass to Clyde Edwards Heller. The play was magical, but perhaps the most impressive thing about the replay was the flexibility of Mahomes’ right ankle, which was twisted under the body of a Tampa Bay safety. Keanu Neil.

Mahomes was unlucky last Saturday as a Jacksonville linebacker Jordan K It landed on the outside of his right ankle. But just days after the injury—an injury that often keeps NFL players out for weeks—Mahomes was fully involved in training. He likens the challenge to a mental challenge, and Stroupe says his best client is at his best when it comes to the “problem-solving component.”

“We do a lot of things, kind of preventative things,” Mahomes said. You cannot prevent all infections. But you can prepare your body in the best possible way.

For Mahomes, the preparation continues this week and the challenge is simple: He’ll try to find a way to feel healthy enough on Sunday to carry out the Chiefs’ game plan.

“All you can do is mentally prepare yourself and your body for the week, and then, like I said, you’ll start match day,” he said. “You just have to focus on the game. That’s what I’m going to try to do.”

(Top photo: Steve Roberts/USA Today)

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