After the Kansas City Chiefs ran out the clock to seal the victory over the New England Patriots Monday night, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes shook hands and shared a hug with Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
“I went up to him after the game and just gave him the high five like I’ve done my whole career,” Mahomes said. “It was a little bit of a mental lapse.”
That lapse could come back to haunt Mahomes and the Chiefs, as Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday morning.
Now, concerns are mounting within the Chiefs organization, but head coach Andy Reid says his team is following its protocols.
“We’re all wearing masks, we’ve been doing that and work shields and whatever all the terms are,” Reid said. “We’ve tried to keep our nose and mouths covered the best we possibly can and then try to be as safe as we can off the field.”
“We don’t all know what’s happening in this world at this time,” Mahomes said. “But just accept the challenge every single day of being in the best place I can be to be available for the team.”
Reid said the Chiefs are constantly adapting to the circumstances around them as they pertain to COVID-19.
The team is utilizing all its available space, transforming areas such as the team cafeteria and indoor practice field into meeting rooms for position groups.
“After meetings it looks like an Indy crew just changing the tires,” Reid said. “Putting the tables away, the chairs away and everything else.”
Reid noted the league also uses trackers on all players and coaches during the games to assist in contact tracing during the run of play.
The situation for Mahomes is different from others, as his fiancé, Brittany Matthews, is pregnant. Mahomes said he tries to take extra precaution for the safety of his family.
“With Brittany being pregnant, I try to do whatever I can to social distance,” Mahomes said. “Be available to the team, but even more part for me, just kind of staying and keeping my family safe.”
Reid said the main thing the team must do, though, to avoid contracting the disease is to obey and trust in the team’s protocols.
“If you thought you were going to go through the entire season and no one was going to test positive, then you have a little bit of false hope,” Mahomes said. “You just trust that the protocols in place are the right protocols.”
“I think just like you guys, every day is a new experience that you kind of got to work through,” Reid said, “and that’s what we’re doing.”
As the Chiefs move ahead in their season and get set to face the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday, Mahomes said he recognizes his mistake and hopes to be better in the future.
“Just trying to show respect to a great football player, who I hope is getting better very quickly,” Mahomes said. “I’ll try to keep away from that and try not to do it again.”
The Chiefs host the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday at noon.