KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been “full-go” during the first week of voluntary workouts, three months after surgery for turf toe and a full month ahead of the original schedule.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Thursday that Mahomes has been “doing everything” while players worked out in shorts at the team's facility near Arrowhead Stadium. Players aren't allowed to wear pads or hit, but the very fact that Mahomes is back on the practice field bodes well for his availability for next month's mandatory minicamp.
“He's still working with (team trainer) Rick Burkholder and that toe, so we'll utilize this more as more of a passing camp,” Reid said. “We don't run the ball much in this thing, so he's been good in that way and his toe is doing well.”
Mahomes was hobbled by the toe throughout the playoffs, though he never acknowledged the severity of the injury. And his inability to move coupled with a makeshift offensive line made him a ripe target for Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.
Mahomes, who had indicated last month that he was ahead of schedule in his recovery, has been joined at OTAs by just about everybody on the roster. That robust attendance stands in stark contrast to a number of teams, including the AFC West rival Broncos, that exercised their rights in the collective bargaining agreement to skip voluntary workouts.
“We love having the guys back on grass. That's a good thing,” Reid said. “It's hard to teach the fundamentals of the game virtually. It's great we have the tools, I'm not saying that, but it's great to teach the fundamentals on the field.”
The extra on-field workouts are especially helpful for Kansas City given huge changes to the roster, particularly along the offensive line, where not a single player that started in the Super Bowl could be a starter Week 1.
Left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., who was acquired in a trade with Baltimore, and right guard Kyle Long, who was lured out of retirement with a free-agent deal, are among those who have been working with the first-team line.
“Especially up front and maybe for the quarterbacks as well, it's important to get that live timing against a real body, a real defensive end,” Brown said.
“I think I'm at a point in my career where these types of offseasons and being able to practice against live personnel, it helps me a lot. I'm able to focus on things I may not have been able to focus on last year.”
In other news, All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu said he's not worried about whether the Chiefs will agree with him on a long-term deal with him, even though he's entering the final year of a $42 million, three-year contract.
In a since-deleted tweet, Mathieu had indicated that an extension was “probably not” happening in Kansas City.
“The negotiation process is tough on anybody, especially a player,” Mathieu said, “but like I said, I try not to focus on it too much. I think I'm a fairly optimistic guy. I try my best to look out the bright side of the window. This is my third franchise so I understand the business. I've grown enough to understand it. I'm mature enough to understand it.”
That doesn't mean Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has given up on signing one of his defense's premier players.
“Last year we were able to get a lot of our veteran players done during the summer,” Veach said shortly after the NFL draft. “Enough can’t be said about Tyrann and how we feel about him and his role both on and off the field.”
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