Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes went down with a concussion in Sunday’s Divisional Round game against the Cleveland Browns. Luckily for the reigning champs, backup signal-caller, Chad Henne was ready when his number was called and made some key plays down the stretch to secure a win. He was just 6-of-8 passing for 66 yards and a pick but also had a critical scramble to close out the game when Cleveland was threatening to complete a comeback win in the fourth quarter.
We won’t know Mahomes’ status for the AFC Championship until later this week as he works his way through the concussion protocol. Andy Reid tried to sound a note of optimism, but concussions are not something where you can easily predict how symptoms will or will not occur.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at where the Chiefs’ backup quarterback and maybe new most important player comes from.
Maybe you got a look at Henne for the first time when he threw for 218 yards and two scores against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17, but he’s been in the league for a while. He was drafted out of Michigan by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He appeared in 36 games as a Dolphin over four seasons and logged 31 starts before getting the boot when Ryan Tannehill was drafted in 2012.
Henne went on to have a five-season stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars before joining the Chiefs to back up Mahomes. Henne isn’t MVP material or even regular starter material, but he also isn’t a slouch. He’s thrown for 13,208 passing yards and 60 touchdowns and could be of use to Kansas City again come next Sunday’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills.
The Chiefs are likely to lean more on their ground game, but Henne has some weapons to throw to and Andy Reid is a great play-caller. It’s too early to know if Henne’s number will be called, but he’ll likely get some first team reps early in the practice week, and maybe more if Mahomes has to deal with concussion symptoms.