The Kansas City Chiefs had an impressive victory Sunday over the Jacksonville Jaguars despite losing their starting wide receiver in the first half. JuJu Smith-Schuster was the recipient of a brutal hit from Jaguars defensive back Andre Cisco in the second quarter, forcing him into the NFL’s concussion protocols and out for the rest of the game. Following Smith-Schuster’s injury, referees didn’t deem the hit illegal despite initially throwing a penalty flag on the play. The situation intensified when receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling suffered a big hit from Cisco just a few plays later without consequences, despite launching himself at the defenseless receiver. The Chiefs remained aggressive in the passing game regardless of the big hits, eventually overwhelming the Jaguars’ secondary. Speaking to Carrington Harrison on 610 Sports Radio show “The Drive” for his weekly check-in, Mahomes opened up about the hit on Smith-Schuster and how it affected the team. “It helped that we saw Juju after the game and that he was moving around…It was good to see him with a smile on his face, so we weren’t as worried,” said Mahomes. “Obviously, we don’t want that (type of hit) to happen, and I take it upon myself too because I’m leading him and throwing him the ball kind of into that hit. So, it’s definitely a bad feeling for me as a quarterback, but I was glad to see he was doing OK after the game.”
Mahomes shared more insight whenever an injury of this magnitude happens and the mindset afterward to continue playing the game until the final whistle. “Yeah, it’s extremely hard, man,” said Mahomes. “Because I mean, we are playing football, this is a game, but I mean, at the same time, you care about your brothers on the field. I’ve already built a closer relationship with JuJu. You want to make sure that he’s all right, so you’re always asking the trainers and asking everybody on the sidelines, like how’s he doing and everything like that? And once they said that he was doing good, I mean, you could kind of walk back in, but it’s definitely anytime there’s any big injury like that or something like that, that’s scary. You want to make sure those guys are good to go.” The Chiefs hope to get Smith-Schuster back before Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, as he will need to abide by the league’s return to participation protocols following his concussion. Mahomes and the rest of the team showed grit following the hits, proving they are united and focused on getting the job done.