The Kansas City Chiefs are desperate for a victory on Thursday night after dropping two straight at home, but they'll be vying for the "W" with a quarterback who's fighting through a lot more than the injury report suggests.
That's according to NFL Network's James Palmer, who reported ahead of Week 7's clash between the Chiefs and Denver Broncos that repeat MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes has a "legit" ankle injury -- so much so that "people that know about the injury have (said) it's probably worse than most people think it is."
The Broncos are "well aware" of that, Palmer added. And while they believe Mahomes can "probably beat you on one leg," they also surely know the star signal-caller has seen statistical drop-offs in his last two games, in which he admittedly aggravated an ankle issue that first surfaced in Kansas City's Week 1 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. As Palmer pointed out, Mahomes' completion percentage, yards-per-attempt mark and passer rating have all declined following his re-injuring of the ankle during K.C.'s two-game slide, prompting the quarterback to stay in the pocket more, get the ball out quicker and elicit more man coverage from opposing teams.
Neither Mahomes nor Chiefs coach Andy Reid have used the ankle injury as an excuse for the team's losing streak, taking turns downplaying the recurring ailment as a "tweak" or general soreness. Mahomes hasn't exactly played poorly despite the issue either, finishing Week 6 with 273 yards and three touchdowns through the air after dropping 321 yards against the Indianapolis Colts the week before. The Chiefs as a whole, however, have been limited on the scoreboard, and as Palmer pointed out, the Broncos have excelled when switching to man coverage -- the popular defense of the banged-up Mahomes -- under new coach Vic Fangio.
Mahomes, however, was listed as a full participant at practice leading up to Thursday night's game. Here's how you can watch him and the Chiefs take on the Broncos in Denver, as well as our preview of the matchup.