DENVER – Struggling to straighten his right knee, Patrick Mahomes tossed his helmet to the side and covered his face with both hands.
The Kansas City quarterback was hurt on a sneak Thursday night against Denver.
Mahomes picked up a first down on fourth-and-short in the second quarter. Once the pile began to clear and Mahomes didn't jump up, his teammates immediately checked on him. Seeing his condition, receiver Tyreek Hill put his hands on his helmet in concern — a feeling shared by a legion of Chiefs fans. Mahomes is a big reason why Kansas City was a preseason favorite to reach its second straight AFC championship game.
Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. showed his respect by coming over and shaking Mahomes' hand.
One of the members of the Kansas City medical team worked on the knee to help straighten it out. A cart was summoned to take him away, but Mahomes instead put an arm around each trainer and made his way off the field. Mahomes, who entered the game with a sore ankle, then slowly made his way into the locker room.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson wrote on his Twitter account: "Praying for you bro." It was a similar sentiment shared by Houston QB Deshaun Watson on social media: "Praying my bro @PatrickMahomes is straight!"
The reigning MVP was 10 of 11 for 76 yards and a 125.8 rating before his injury.
Mahomes has thrown 15 touchdown passes and one interception this season. Last weekend in a loss to Houston, Mahomes recorded his 14th career game with at least three TD passes. That's third-most in team history.
Matt Moore replaced Mahomes. Moore was signed by the Chiefs on Aug. 27 after an injury to Chad Henne.
The 35-year-old Moore didn't play last season. He's thrown 45 TD passes and 36 interceptions in stints with Carolina and Miami.
After playing at Oregon State, Moore entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Dallas in 2007.