Seven years into a career that has featured two NFL MVPs, two Super Bowl titles and a laundry list of accomplishments, Patrick Mahomes still encountered a first on Saturday.
The conditions at Arrowhead Stadium were ripe for a unique outcome, as the minus-4 degree temperature at kickoff between the Kansas City Chiefs and visiting Miami Dolphins in a wild-card matchup made for the NFL’s fourth-coldest game ever on record. In that frigid setting, Mahomes encountered an equipment setback that left him in an unfamiliar spot.
On a second-and-7 play with 9:25 remaining in the third quarter, Mahomes scrambled right and barreled ahead for a 13-yard gain. As he lowered his head, he was met by Dolphins safety DeShon Elliott, with the two players engaging in a helmet-to-helmet collision that sent a piece of Mahomes’ crown flying.
“I was very unhappy because my helmet’s warm and it cracked … and I put the other helmet on, and it didn’t fit at all,” Mahomes said in an interview after the Chiefs’ 26-7 victory. “It was sitting out in the cold all day long.”
The quarterback didn’t initially notice the missing piece.
“I didn’t know what happened in the moment, but I got in the huddle and everybody was telling me,” Mahomes said in his postgame news conference. “And I was like ‘I got y’all, but I’m not coming out (of) the game. … It was a first for me.”
“We gotta talk about where we store the backup helmet because it was frozen,” Mahomes said. “When I tried to put it on, it was completely frozen. I couldn’t get it on. I don’t know if anyone got a picture of it. It didn’t look great. But we were able to adjust it on the sideline and get it warmed up a little bit and get rolling from there.