Kansas City Chiefs players had their heads in their hands. Even some Denver Broncos players took a knee as a mark of respect.
It should have been a night of celebration for the Kansas City Chiefs and Mahomes
On top of a 30-6 win over the Denver Broncos, 24-year-old Mahomes became the youngest player ever to reach 7,500 career passing yards in the first quarter of that victory.
Then a few minutes later, on a seemingly innocuous quarterback run, Mahomes and the Chiefs’ evening took a turn for the worst.
As the players peeled off, one-by-one, from the scrum of players, two remained on the ground, with Mahomes lying on top of the Chiefs’ center, Austin Reiter, clutching his right knee.
“I think I was just yelling, ‘Get off me,’ but I didn’t realize it was him,” Reiter told reporters.
“And everybody’s telling me, I’m hearing from the refs, ‘Just stay still, stay still.’ And I’m just laying on my stomach face down.
“I just had to listen to the refs and not move. As soon as I realized it was his voice, I was like, all right, I’m not moving an inch.”
For his teammates, the severity of the injury was obvious.
“Everybody could have known something was wrong,” Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Chiefs guard who is also a medical school graduate, said.
“He was saying, ‘It’s out, it’s out.’ Nobody really understood what he meant at that time and then we saw it.
“That’s when we started panicking. Not panicking but seeing that he was not all right.”
Post-game scans showed Mahomes had suffered a right patellar (kneecap) dislocation, something head coach, Andy Reid, described as a “freak thing.”
Still writhing on the Empower Field pitch, Mahomes received attention from the medical staff, who appeared to straighten his knee and pop it back into place.
“His knee didn’t even look like a knee,” Chiefs tight-end, Travis Kelce, said. “It was all out of whack. I couldn’t even describe it.”
After refusing the assistance of a cart, Mahomes hobbled back to the locker-room and was shortly ruled out of the game.
The former Texas Tech quarterback will undergo further scans on Friday to determine the severity of his injury.
After the game, Reid said he “didn’t know how serious the injury was. We’re good with whatever direction this thing goes.”
Mahomes seemed in good spirits after the game, however, posting on his Twitter that “everything was looking good so far.”
He was replaced by veteran Matt Moore, who threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill and completed 10 of 19 passes for 117 yards as the Chiefs halted a two-game losing run.
The Chiefs have nine days off until their next game on October 27 against the Green Bay Packers.