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NFL play-offs: Patrick Mahomes ‘out of concussion protocol’ for Kansas City Chiefs

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes says he is out of concussion protocol and can play in Sunday’s AFC championship game.

He did not return to the game but has practised for a third straight day before facing the Buffalo Bills.

“I’ll be able to go out there and be myself,” said Mahomes, 25.

“This week has been a bunch of testing, but I went through what all four different doctors said. Everything looked well and I am out of it now.”

The youngest player to win a league MVP (2018) and a Super Bowl after the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers last year, Mahomes also said the toe injury that caused him to limp last week was “feeling a lot better.”

Back-up quarterback Chad Henne, 35, was set to start against the Bills if Mahomes was not passed fit.

Henne, who made his first start since 2014 as Mahomes was rested for the final game of the regular season, came in against Cleveland and helped Kansas City secure a dramatic victory.

The winners of NFL’s two championship games will play in Super Bowl 55, and there will be about 17,000 fans at the Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium.

Kansas City are the top seed in the AFC Conference and aiming to become the first NFL champions to defend their title since the New England Patriots in the 2004 season.

Buffalo, meanwhile, hope to reach a fifth Super Bowl after losing four straight in the 1990s.

Led by quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills have won the AFC East title and a play-off game for the first time in 25 years, beating the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens to reach their first AFC championship game since 1994.

Rodgers vs Brady set for snow game at Lambeau?

There will be a 6,500 limit on fans for Sunday’s other game, which will see two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks clash as Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers host Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It will be the first time Green Bay’s iconic Lambeau Field has hosted the NFC championship game since the 2007 season and the weather could be very different to what the Bucs have been used to in Florida all season as forecasts have given a 50% chance of snow.

Rodgers is favourite to be named the league MVP after throwing a career-best 48 touchdowns as the Packers secured top seed in the NFC Conference.

The 37-year-old aims to reach just his second Super Bowl – after winning Super Bowl 45 – while Brady won a record six in 20 years with the Patriots before joining Tampa Bay in the off-season.

The 43-year-old is the NFL’s all-time leader for touchdown passes and has led the Bucs to their first play-off wins since they won Super Bowl 37, beating Washington and the New Orleans Saints on the road.

And Brady could secure another record on Sunday as victory will see the Bucs become the first team to play a Super Bowl in their own stadium, with this year’s showpiece taking place in Tampa on Sunday, 7 February.

The NFL have announced there will be 22,000 fans at Super Bowl 55, including about 7,500 vaccinated health care workers who will receive free tickets for the 66,000-capacity Raymond James Stadium.

Most of the workers will come from the Tampa and central Florida area, but all 32 NFL teams will select some from their own communities to attend.

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