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Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes 'able to grip ball' again after injury at New England

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
Posted at 1:23 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 17:51:01-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — First, the good news. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said the swelling in his injured hand has gone down significantly in recent days and he expects to take all his usual reps in practice Wednesday.

Unfortunately, defensive end Frank Clark’s illness has returned, putting his status for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium in jeopardy.

Cornerbacks Rashad Fenton (hamstring) and Morris Claiborne (shoulder) also missed practice again Wednesday, and Clark was scheduled to see a specialist due to a stomach issue, Reid said.

But let’s focus on the positive.

“Today was probably the first day I was able to grip the ball and throw it,” Mahomes said.

Mahomes said he was only able to “kind of flip the ball around” since falling awkwardly and hurting his throwing hand early in the 23-16 win Sunday at New England, but now he’s able to “push the ball downfield” again.

Mahomes didn’t blame the injury for the offense’s struggles in the second half, but he acknowledged that the Chiefs’ attack has been out of sync in recent weeks.

“It’s just not executing at a high enough level, and it starts with me” Mahomes said.

Mahomes said he’s bailing too early from the pocket sometimes, but he’s noticed it on film and thinks it’s correctable.

“There were times in the game where I could have maybe stepped and bought a little extra time or stayed in the pocket ...,” Mahomes said. “I’m really focusing in this week on the fundamentals, trying to find a way where I can help out the offensive line.”

He said the offensive line has done a good job walling off the pass rush, so he can buy extra time for routes to develop by working within the pocket rather than drifting back as he’s tended to do in recent weeks.

“Sometimes, I rely on my arm and rely on these back-foot throws,” Mahomes said. “Those are all cool and everything like that, but you want to make sure you’re still doing the fundamentals. Whenever you get to the end of the season, you’re going to have to step up and make these big-time throws. I want to make sure that my fundamentals are in the right way.”

The return of running back Damien Williams may help, though he remained limited at practice. He’s been sidelined the last two games with a rib injury since a win against the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football.

Certainly, the Chiefs hope Clark gets some answers and also will be available.

He reportedly lost as much as 10 pounds dealing with flu-like symptoms last week, but he suited up for the Chiefs’ win at New England.

Reid stressed that it was safe for Clark to play, but added, “We tried to ration the number of plays and he wanted to fight somebody. That’s the way he is. That’s how he wired.”