Chiefs CB Bashaud Breeland out of concussion protocol
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland is out of the concussion protocol and cleared to play Sunday in the AFC Championship Game against the visiting Buffalo Bills.The team made the announcement Saturday.Breeland, who was originally listed as questionable, was a limited participant in all three practices this week for the defending Super Bowl champions.His presence is welcome news for a Kansas City secondary preparing for Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs led the NFL in receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535) this season.Breeland, who turns 29 next week, had 38 tackles, nine passes defensed and two interceptions in 11 starts for the Chiefs in the 2020 regular season. He made six tackles in the 22-17 divisional-round win over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday before leaving in the fourth quarter with a concussion.
AFC Championship Game splitting bettors
Patrick Mahomes was cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol Friday, but the week-long uncertainty surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback has led to split betting action on Sunday's AFC Championship Game.The Chiefs are 3.5-point favorites against the Buffalo Bills by DraftKings, where Kansas City is being backed by 63 percent of the spread handle and 52 percent of the bets. However, Buffalo's +155 moneyline is being backed by 59 percent of the handle and 61 percent of the bets.Kansas City is favored by 3.0 points at BetRivers.com. The Chiefs are backed by 58 percent of the spread handle, but 56 percent of the total bets had been placed on Buffalo as of Friday. The Bills' +145 moneyline has also been backed by 58 percent of the moneyline handleBetRivers.com is offering the Over/Under at 54.5 points, with the public nearly split evenly with 51 percent of the bets and handle on the Under.The Bills enter the game riding an eight-game winning streak and have covered the spread in four of their past five games at BetRivers.com, while the Chiefs have not covered since the first day in November.Mahomes announced Friday that he had cleared the concussion protocol and also said the toe injury that was bothering him against the Cleveland Browns in the divisional round was "feeling a lot better."Meanwhile, the Bills' Josh Allen is playing at a level equal to any quarterback still competing in the postseason.Ever since a 26-17 loss to the Chiefs in Week 6, the Bills have rolled to 11 wins in 12 games, including eight straight, to gain their first AFC Championship appearance since the 1993 season.Allen's steady improvement with the Bills rode a huge uptick this season when he recorded eight 300-yard passing performances.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes out of concussion protocol
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes announced Friday he is out of the concussion protocol and ready to start Sunday's AFC title game against the visiting Buffalo Bills."I'll be able to go out there and be myself," said Mahomes, who practiced for the third consecutive day on Friday.The defending Super Bowl champion exited last Sunday's divisional playoff against the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter and was replaced by Chad Henne, who finished out the 22-17 victory.Mahomes told reporters Friday he had been evaluated by three doctors this week as he made his way through the concussion protocol.Mahomes, 25, also said the toe injury that was bothering him against the Browns was "feeling a lot better."
AFC Notebook: Andy Reid and Sean McDermott share long history
The opposing coaches in the AFC Championship game spoke glowingly of each other when they got the chance Wednesday.Coach-speak, perhaps? Maybe, but the connection between the Buffalo Bills' Sean McDermott and the Kansas City Chiefs' Andy Reid dates back to a lengthy period in Philadelphia, from 1999-2010. McDermott eventually rose to become defensive coordinator under Reid."Andy will be a Hall of Fame coach here in the future down the road," McDermott said. "I've learned, and I've said this time and time again, I've learned a lot from Andy Reid in my time with him in Philadelphia."Reid went as far as to trace McDermott's exploits as a high school wrestler and later a standout safety at William & Mary, emphasizing his protege's intelligence and toughness. He also proclaimed that McDermott should be named the NFL's Coach of the Year for guiding the Bills to the brink of their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1993 season."He's taken a franchise there, both he and his general manager have put this thing together with some bold moves and production here now, so I think he's done tremendous," Reid said. "What a great thing for the NFL and for Buffalo."--When television cameras caught Kansas City standout wide receiver Tyreek Hill shoving his position coach, Greg Lewis, during the Chiefs' divisional round victory, it appeared a sideline altercation might be brewing."That's me and my personality," Hill said. "A lot of people see me as being a hothead on the sideline or a diva, but it was nothing like that. Just me being fired up and just trying to give the guys energy."His dependability showed against Cleveland when Reid called a stunning fourth-down pass in which backup quarterback Chad Henne rolled right and lobbed the ball to Hill to seal the 22-17 outcome.--Buffalo veteran Cole Beasley downplayed his two targets against Baltimore, which resulted in no receptions in the divisional round. He caught 82 passes for 967 yards in the regular season.Beasley even mentioned that he kidded with Stefon Diggs, who caught eight passes for 106 yards after leading the NFL with 166 targets in 2020."A lot of people don't understand that you can make an impact in the game without catching the ball," Beasley said. "They have to worry about me underneath either way."
Patrick Mahomes practices, remains in concussion protocol
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was on the practice field and worked with the starting offense in a limited basis Thursday but remains in concussion protocol.Head coach Andy Reid specified Mahomes is still in the no-contact phase of concussion protocol until further notice, leaving the Chiefs' quarterback situation unsettled for the AFC Championship game Sunday.Typically players who haven't been cleared from NFL concussion protocol are not allowed to wear helmets at practice. In the portion of Thursday's workout open to media, Mahomes held his helmet and observed from the sideline.But later in the workout Mahomes donned a helmet and ran plays with the starting offense, which included rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire missed the divisional playoff game last week due to hip and ankle injuries."Pat looked good out there," Reid said. "He's moving around well. He feels good. It's just important we follow the protocol, and that's what we're doing."
Chiefs set for AFC title vs. Bills, with or without Patrick Mahomes
The good news for the Kansas City Chiefs is that Patrick Mahomes is practicing.However, Mahomes remained in concussion protocol as preparations began in earnest for Sunday's AFC Championship game pitting the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo."(Mahomes) took all the snaps and he feels good, so we're just going to follow this protocol as close as we possibly can," Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters Wednesday.Last year's Super Bowl MVP suffered an injury in the third quarter of Kansas City's divisional round game against Cleveland and did not return. Backup Chad Henne and the Chiefs defense held on for a victory, in part because Henne scrambled for a big gain and then converted a game-clinching first down with a surprising completion to Tyreek Hill."For my preparation, it's going to stay the same: Prepare like you're the starter each and every week, no matter what happens," Henne said. "Whatever does happen, happens. I always stay ready."Pretty sound outlook, though when Henne was named the quarterback for the Chiefs' last regular-season game after they had already clinched the AFC's No. 1 seed, the start was his first since 2014. The Los Angeles Chargers halted Kansas City's 10-game win streak, but the Chiefs raced to an early lead against the Browns despite coming off a first-round bye.It is worth noting that Mahomes sprinted off the field for testing after first wobbling to the sideline against the Browns. Reid said later that Mahomes sustained an injury to his neck area and also, a toe injury Mahomes suffered is not causing him any problems."We're just leaving it the way we do," Reid said of his quarterback situation. "Chad's comfortable with it and he feels that he can handle that if need be, so I think that's gone well there."While everyone is awaiting word on Mahomes' status, the word on the Bills' Josh Allen is he is playing at a level equal to any quarterback still competing in the postseason.Considering that list of greats includes Mahomes, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, Allen is in select company. He doesn't get distracted by comparisons, though."I'm just trying to be the best version of myself," Allen said. "I'm not trying to compare to the other guys who are arguably some of the best to ever play the game, the ones who are left. I'm just focused on what I can do."
Patrick Mahomes still in protocol; Chiefs to allow practice
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains in concussion protocol but was cleared for "light" practice Wednesday.Mahomes is questionable for the AFC Championship Game scheduled for Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Mahomes has no symptoms, head coach Andy Reid said. The quarterback left the divisional playoff victory over the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter.Mahomes is expected to be on the field as the Chiefs host a third consecutive conference championship game. Veteran Chad Henne would start if Mahomes is not medically cleared.It will be the second meeting this season between the Chiefs and Bills, who played in Week 6 in Buffalo. The Chiefs won the game 26-17.
Report: Mahomes remains in concussion protocol; status uncertain
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains in the NFL's concussion protocol Tuesday but is expected to practice Wednesday, ESPN reported.There is optimism among the Chiefs that Mahomes will play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills, but the former NFL MVP's status is still uncertain.ESPN reported Mahomes cleared "some big steps" on Monday. Mahomes is also dealing with a toe issue, per the report. Mahomes was limping in Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns prior to leaving the game with a concussion midway through the third quarter.Mahomes passed for 255 yards and one touchdown against the Browns. Chad Henne replaced Mahomes and completed 6 of 8 passes for 66 yards and an interception in the end zone. Henne also rushed twice for 12 yards.
Chiefs lose Mahomes, defeat Browns to reach AFC title game
Backup quarterback Chad Henne gained 13 yards on a scramble, then threw a stunning fourth-and-inches completion to Tyreek Hill with less than two minutes remaining on Sunday as the host Kansas City Chiefs finished off the Cleveland Browns 22-17 to reach the AFC Championship Game.Henne replaced Patrick Mahomes, who appeared to come away with a head injury at the 7:47 mark of the third quarter after he was tackled by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson on an option keeper.Mahomes, who will have to go through concussion protocol to determine his availability for the AFC title game, passed for 255 yards and one touchdown.The defending Super Bowl champions became the first AFC team to play host to a conference championship for a third consecutive season. They will face the Buffalo Bills, a team Kansas City defeated 26-17 on Oct. 19.Henne was intercepted by Cleveland's Karl Joseph in the end zone with 8:10 remaining but the Browns' drive to potentiallt lake the lead stalled and they were forced to punt. The Chiefs then ran out the final 4:09.Hill and Travis Kelce each had eight receptions for 110 and 109 yards, respectively. Darrel Williams, in his first NFL start, added 78 yards on 13 carries and had four receptions.The Chiefs scored on each of their four first-half possessions while generating 293 yards to build a 19-3 halftime margin.
Chiefs' QB Patrick Mahomes ruled out after third quarter hit
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was ruled out of Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday after a third-quarter hit appeared to leave him woozy.Mahomes kept the ball while running an option play on third down and 1. He faked a pitch and try to dive for first-down yardage as he was met by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson. Mahomes' head appeared to get pulled to the turf as Wilson brought him to the ground.The reigning NFL MVP needed help getting to his feet before he was taken into the team's medical tent on the sideline. Mahomes then ran into the Chiefs locker room.Mahomes was 21-of-30 passing for 255 yards and one touchdown when he left the game. He also had 14 rushing yards on three carries.
Chiefs underdogs if Patrick Mahomes unable to face Bills
The Kansas City Chiefs will be underdogs in the AFC Championship Game if quarterback Patrick Mahomes isn't available to face the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.Mahomes will have to pass through the league's concussion protocol after being knocked out of Sunday's 22-17 win over the Cleveland Browns.SportsBetting.com said the Chiefs were listed as four-point favorites in a projected matchup against the Bills before Mahomes was injured. If Mahomes is not able to play, the sportsbook said Buffalo would be a 2-point favorite. Mahomes' status also affects the Over/Under, which would be set at 56 points if he's able to play and 51 points if he's not.Mahomes exited at the 7:47 mark of the third quarter after being tackled on an option keeper. He was first evaluated on the sideline before heading to the locker room for further tests and was later ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Injured Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire inactive vs. Browns
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was one of the team's inactives for Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game against the visiting Cleveland Browns.Edwards-Helaire is dealing with ankle and hip injuries and didn't practice on Thursday and Friday. He missed the final two games of the regular season due to the injuries.Edwards-Helaire led the Chiefs with 803 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns during the regular season.Darrel Williams, who started, and Le'Veon Bell will receive the bulk of the workload in Edwards-Helaire's absence.Also inactive for the Chiefs due to injuries are receiver Sammy Watkins (calf), linebacker Willie Gay (ankle) and cornerback Rashad Fenton (foot/ankle). The team's other inactives are offensive tackle Martinas Rankin, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders and defensive end Tim Ward.
Divisional Playoffs dividing bettors for Sunday games
The Cleveland Browns are 10-point underdogs as Sunday's Divisional Playoff game at Kansas City approaches, and the largest spread line of the weekend is dividing bettors.The Chiefs (14-2) are coming off a bye week as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They're rested and playing host to a Browns team still managing its way through a COVID-19 outbreak.However, Kansas City has failed to cover the spread in eight consecutive games. The Chiefs are being backed by 59 percent of the spread handle at BetRivers.com and 52 percent at DraftKings, but only 42 percent at FanDuel as of Friday.Bettors are showing much more confidence in the Chiefs' moneyline, backing them with 89 percent of the handle at -500 at FanDuel and 89 percent at DraftKings. BetRivers.com is offering Kansas City at -480, which is being backed by 86 percent of the handle.The Over/Under has been set at 57 percent by all three sportsbooks. The Over is being backed by 89 percent of the handle at FanDuel, 85 percent at BetRivers.com and 83 percent at DraftKings.The Browns are coming off an explosive 48-37 upset of Pittsburgh in the wild-card round, which elevated them into Sunday's game.Despite sitting out the Jan. 3 setback to the Los Angeles Chargers, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes helped engineer a 14-2 season for Kansas City while passing for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns. He will square off against Baker Mayfield as they reprise their old Big 12 shootouts.The Chiefs scored at least 31 points in each of their postseason wins a year ago. Travis Kelce, who set an NFL record for tight ends with 1,416 receiving yards, also sat out the defeat against the Chargers, which snapped a 10-game Chiefs winning streak.The final game of the Divisional Playoffs will feature future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and Drew Brees going toe-to-toe in what could be another shootout.DraftKings and FanDuel have both set the Over/Under for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints game at 52, with the Over being backed by 81 percent of the handle at the former and 83 percent at the latter.Brees' Saints are 3-point favorites at all three books.New Orleans swept the regular-season series, but the Bucs are being backed by 63 percent of the spread handle at BetRivers and 56 percent at FanDuel.The action is more divided at DraftKings, where the Saints are backed by 51 percent of the spread handle. However, the Bucs (+175) are backed by 75 percent of the moneyline handle. Tampa Bay is being backed by 72 percent of the moneyline handle at BetRivers at +155, and 68 percent at FanDuel at +148.New Orleans is the only team to have defeated Brady twice in the same season.
Chiefs' Clyde Edwards-Helaire questionable vs. Browns
Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is questionable for Sunday's AFC divisional round playoff game against the Cleveland Browns despite missing practice for the second straight day.Chiefs coach Andy Reid announced the playing statuses of Edwards-Helaire, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and linebacker Willie Gay on Friday. Watkins (calf) and Gay (ankle) were ruled out of Sunday's home game.Edwards-Helaire, who is nursing hip and ankle injuries, missed the final two games of the regular season.Despite those absences, Edwards-Helaire recorded team-leading totals in carries (181), rushing yards (803) and rushing touchdowns (four). He also had 36 catches for 297 yards and a score since being selected by Kansas City with the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.Running backs Le'Veon Bell and Darrel Williams would see an increase in snaps should Edwards-Helaire be limited or unable to play against Cleveland.
Well-rested Chiefs host upset-minded Browns
Time off for Patrick Mahomes has not equated to time away from football.He practiced for the Kansas City Chiefs. He cheered teammates on while sitting out the last regular-season game. And then last week, with the bye that goes to the top seed in the AFC playoffs, Mahomes scouted opponents.He will rely on what he learned about the Cleveland Browns, who will be coming off an explosive 48-37 upset of Pittsburgh in the wild-card round, which elevated them into the divisional round Sunday at Kansas City, Mo."I had a day's worth of film on the Browns," said Mahomes, "so whenever we found that out, I was able to look back at that and look at my notes and see how it presents to us."Despite sitting out the Jan. 3 setback to the Los Angeles Chargers, Mahomes helped engineer a 14-2 season for Kansas City while passing for 4,740 yards and 38 touchdowns. He will square off against Baker Mayfield as they reprise their old Big 12 shootouts."To be able to play against him on this stage is going to be special," Mahomes said. "I mean, he went to Oklahoma, I went to Texas Tech, so he got the better of me in college, so I'll try to do my best to win in the NFL."Mahomes knows he has the weapons to accomplish that feat, especially after the Chiefs scored at least 31 points in each of their postseason wins a year ago. Travis Kelce, who set an NFL record for tight ends with 1,416 receiving yards, also sat out the defeat against the Chargers, which snapped a 10-game Chiefs' winning streak."Everybody kind of locks in a little bit more and gets excited to play when the playoffs come around, especially in this building, especially (Mahomes) himself," Kelce said.The same could be said of the Browns after claiming their first playoff win since 1994.Cleveland should regain several players off the reserve/COVID-19 list -- Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio was removed Friday -- while coach Kevin Stefanski returned to practice on Thursday after his own stint with the virus."We're looking forward to getting a full complement of guys," Stefanski said. "Anytime you get good players back, whether it be injury or COVID list, it's always a big boost for your entire team."Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson have been activated and will provide depth to a secondary that grabbed four interceptions against Pittsburgh. Receiver KhaDarel Hodge was also taken off coronavirus protocols.
Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire returns to practice
Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the final two games of the regular season.The move represents a positive sign for Edwards-Helaire's chances to play in Sunday's divisional playoff game versus the visiting Cleveland Browns."He just went right at it. Fearless with (his rehabilitation). And as a result, he's probably a little bit ahead," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Edwards-Helaire, who has been nursing hip and ankle injuries.Edwards-Helaire, 21, has team-leading totals in carries (181), rushing yards (803) and rushing touchdowns (four) since being selected by Kansas City with the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He also has 36 catches for 297 yards and a score.Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, also participated in practice on Wednesday.
Aaron Donald, Travis Kelce anchor All-Pro team
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce were unanimous selections to the 2020 Associated Press All-Pro team announced Friday.Donald and Kelce swept all 50 votes from a nationwide panel of media members.It is the sixth consecutive selection for Donald, 29, who registered 13.5 sacks for a Rams defense that finished No. 1 in the NFL in scoring defense and total defense.It is the third selection for Kelce (2016, 2018). The 31-year-old helped the Chiefs secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs and set a record for tight ends with 1,416 receiving yards.The Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts both had four players on the list.Quarterback and leading MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers (third selection), left tackle David Bakhtiari (second), center Corey Linsley (first) and wide receiver Davante Adams (first) helped the Packers (13-3) secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC.Left guard Quenton Nelson (third), linebacker Darius Leonard (second), defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and special teamer George Odum each earned their first All-Pro nods for the Colts, who finished 11-5 and earned a wild-card berth.Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry was honored for the first time after rushing for 2,027 yards and capturing his second straight NFL rushing title.
Reports: Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy completes five interviews
Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy interviewed with five NFL teams about their head coaching vacancies.He met Wednesday with the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets following interviews earlier this week with the Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions, according to multiple news outlets.The only team with a vacancy that has not interviewed Bieniemy is the Houston Texans.
Herbert sets rookie passing records as Chargers dump Chiefs
Justin Herbert concluded his season with an NFL rookie record 31 touchdown passes, tossing three Sunday as the Los Angeles Chargers pounded the Kansas City Chiefs 38-21 at Kansas City, Mo.Herbert, the No. 6 overall pick out of Oregon, completed 22 of 31 attempts for 302 yards. The Chargers finished 7-9 with four straight victories while snapping a 10-game winning streak for the Chiefs (14-2).Elevated to starter in a week two overtime loss to Kansas City, Herbert also set a rookie record for completions (396). He threw for 4,336 yards, 38 short of the rookie record set by Andrew Luck in 2012. Herbert also tied a franchise record with his eighth 300-yard outing.Kansas City played without Patrick Mahomes and several other standouts, including Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu, after clinching the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs a week earlierDrawing his first start since 2014 with Jacksonville, Chad Henne passed for 218 yards and two touchdowns quarterbacking the Chiefs. Darwin Thompson posted 110 yards on 21 touches, with two scores.While it did not sit as many regulars as the Chiefs, Los Angeles played without several standouts, including Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Joey Bosa. The Chargers lost Austin Ekeler to a concussion late in the first half after he recorded 13 touches and caught a 5-yard TD pass.Herbert also fired TD strikes of 8 yards to Donald Parham and 48 yards to Mike Williams.
Chiefs' Hill, Watkins, Edwards-Helaire out vs. Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins as well as rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire have been ruled out for this weekend's game against the Los Angeles Chargers.Hill (hamstring), Watkins (calf) and Edwards-Helaire (ankle) are nursing injuries for the Chiefs (14-1), who have clinched the top seed in the AFC.Kansas City coach Andy Reid said earlier in the week that quarterback Chad Henne will start versus the visiting Chargers (6-9). Henne is getting the nod over Patrick Mahomes (rest).Running back Le'Veon Bell, who has been bothered by an ailing knee, returned to practice on Friday. He is questionable for Sunday's game.Hill, 26, has 87 receptions for 1,276 yards with a career-best 15 touchdowns this season.