Tyrann Mathieu returned to practice ahead of AFC Championship

The All-Pro safety returned to practice on Thursday ahead of their championship matchup with the Bengals

Midway through an incredible shootout with the Buffalo Bills, Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu was diagnosed with a concussion after someone’s foot hit him in the back of his helmet.

Mathieu was able to participate in practice on Thursday and was seen in this video getting loose. Though this doesn’t mean he will be cleared from the concussion protocol, it is a great sign toward him being able to possibly suit up for the Chiefs defense.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid has said that Mathieu remains in the concussion protocol. Reid also stated his optimism that Mathieu should be cleared by Sunday and available to suit up. This would be the best action for Kansas City to have No. 32 out there playing. Especially ahead of an AFC Championship game against an opponent they lost to in Week 17.

Without Mathieu, the Chiefs lose an All-Pro talent, but his leadership helps to drive not only the secondary but the entire defensive unit. Against a high-powered Cincinnati Bengals offense, the Chiefs will need talent in the secondary. Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase played very well in his first matchup against Kansas City. The rookie receiver totaled 11 catches for 266 yards with three touchdowns. One step to limiting him with be Mathieu’s play at safety.

The Chiefs have listed Mathieu, along with running back Darrel Williams as questionable for the game.

More will be announced later this week ahead of the Sunday matchup on Mathieu’s status. His participation in Thursday practice should be handled with cautious optimism as he still needs to clear concussion protocol.