Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu remains in concussion protocol and his status for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Cincinnati Bengals is still uncertain. But coach Andy Reid said that Mathieu, a key cog in the Chiefs’ secondary, is doing well and has a chance to play in what would be his third consecutive AFC title game, according to NFL Network’s James Palmer.
Mathieu exited last week in the first quarter of Kansas City’s thrilling 42-36 overtime win over the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round, after taking a blow to the helmet from teammate Jarran Reed’s knee, and did not return. The Chiefs defense suffered in his absence on what was a big passing night, in a losing effort, for Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
The Chiefs are preparing for another top quarterback in the Bengals’ Joe Burrow, making Mathieu’s presence all the more important — per Pro Football Focus, he ranked as the No. 38 safety in the NFL this season, but his 75.4 grade in coverage ranked 17th.
Mathieu was the only Chief not to participate in practice on Wednesday. He was named to his fourth Pro Bowl this year after making 76 tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries in the regular season.
- San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams (ankle) and running back Elijah Mitchell (knee) will not practice Wednesday, coach Kyle Shanahan said. “In Trent’s mind, there’s no way he’s not playing,” Shanahan told reporters. “I know he believes he’s playing and so do I. … If he can he will.” Running back Jeff Wilson and cornerback Ambry Thomas (knee) will be limited. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (thumb) will be full-go, and his shoulder ailment is off the injury report. Wideout Mohamed Sanu was activated from injured reserve.
- Baltimore Ravens defensive back Anthony Levine announced he’s retiring after 12 seasons.
- The Carolina Panthers promoted salary cap manager Samir Suleiman to vice president of football administration.
- Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks announced he’s retiring after 10 seasons.
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