Who was injured during Super Bowl LVII?
Availability is the best possibility. Bill Parcells’ quote is never more true than the winner of the Super Bowl taking all the bets, which can often be dictated by the healthier lineup. If the Kansas City Chiefs lift the Lombardi Cup Sunday night, their training staff will win the MVP vote. In 2020, they limped into the Super Bowl as walkers injured when half of their attack line was on IR and Mahomes was smashed into ground beef. The Mahomes should have been better protected behind their refurbished front line, however, in this version of the Super Bowl, injuries still weigh heavily on the Kansas City team.
How will Patrick Mahomes’ ankle hold?
Super Bowl Sunday will mark three weeks since Patrick Mahomes suffered a painful ankle sprain during the first half of Kansas City’s Division Round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The captains didn’t know where his sprain was on the spectrum from grade 1 to grade 3. However, considering the nature of the Grade 3 sprain, and Mahomes competed in the AFC Championship two weeks ago. Then, it’s safe to assume his sprain is Grade 1 or Grade 2. Grade 2 sprains usually heal in about 4-6 weeks, while healing for a grade 1 sprain takes half that time.
Injury to wide receiver
The bigger concern lies in the availability of slot receivers by Mahomes, Kadarius Toney and Mecole Hardman. Hardman relapses before Cincinnati Bengals and has been placed on the injured reserve. As an up-and-coming freelance agent, he was frustrated after failing to be a reliable target in his third year. Four years after the speedster hit a record of 4.33 and was selected to the second round of the UGA, his Captain’s career could come to a rough end. His greatest contributions lie in the imaginations of many, who envisioned him as Hill’s successor.
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Toney is the Chiefs’ trendy new gadget receiver since they acquired him in a trade from the Giants before the trade deadline. Like Hardman, he’s a regular in the training room, although his readiness for the Super Bowl is a bit murkier. Toney left the AFC Title Game with an ankle injury, but unlike the hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for three weeks,
Injuries to the Chiefs defense
Starting cornerback LaJarius Sneed cleared the concussion protocol Monday afternoon and on Tuesday, Reid provided an update on Mahomes’ injury situation which amounted to a whole lot of nothing. The Chiefs are going well beyond your typical R.I.C.E. methods in Mahomes’ recuperation process, so it’s safe to assume he’ll be even more mobile than he was against the Bengals.
“I wouldn’t tell you he’s 100 percent,” Reid said of Mahomes. “The training staff works with him endlessly. I guess it’s a tribute to both of them. Pat (Mahomes) coming back for more and for those guys cranking on him. Julie (Frymyer) spent most of the time with him, rehabbing him. We’ve got all the latest and greatest stuff to use technology-wise. He’s used it all and he’s been able to make these jumps here where he can actually function and play in a game, which is pretty remarkable.”
The Eagles enter the Super Bowl healthy
Conversely, the Eagles are one of the healthiest teams we’ve ever seen entering the Super Bowl. All 22 of their Week 1 starters played in the Championship Game, an unbelievable rate considering the attrition that takes place over the course of a physical 20-week grind. Nickel corner Avonte Maddox has been playing through a toe injury since Philly’s Week 16 loss to Dallas and while he’s been using a walking boot, the expectation is that he’ll be fully available for the Super Bowl as well.
Jalen Hurts sprained his throwing shoulder at the tail end of the regular season, and continues to receive questions about the strength of his shoulder as his efficiency running and throwing has diminished since his return. As long as he wasn’t climbing any greased poles two Sundays ago, the Eagles should be confident in Hurts’ physical state.