ProFootballDoc: Early Injury Keys to Super Bowl LV

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Tom Brady versus Patrick Mahomes. The Old Guard GOAT against the New Guard top talent.

That will be the focus of the media leading up to Super Bowl LV in Tampa. The Bucs will be the first team ever to play in the big game in their home stadium, and they will practice in their home facility. Nothing could be more fitting than this unusual, never-seen-before occurrence in an unusual, never-seen-before pandemic year. However, this game will still be won and lost in the trenches, as it usually is.

The Chiefs’ offensive line will be without three of their five early season starters. They were already missing left guard Kelechi Osemele and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, but now Eric Fisher is out, and the domino effect will be big.

By video, Fisher tore his Achilles and will need surgery. He is certainly out for the Super Bowl. There will be a three-person change on the Chiefs’ offensive line with backup right tackle Mike Remmers flipping to left tackle, left guard Andrew Wylie sliding to right tackle and Steve Wisniewski inserted at right guard.

Will Jason Pierre Paul and Shaq Barrett of the Buccaneers take advantage of this new lineup and continue to pressure the quarterback, as they have throughout the playoffs? Brady may get most of the attention, but Barrett and JPP’s effectiveness against the Packers really won the NFC Championship for the Bucs.

As a footnote, Antonio Brown should return to play, even though Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson have done a good job in the slot. This makes for a very intriguing Super Bowl.

The Chiefs open as three-point favorites.

If you believe in their offensive line, then take the Chiefs. Though he’s still struggling a bit with turf toe, Mahomes likely never really had a concussion. The Chiefs’ game plan against the Bills put Mahomes in motion often, and they were not afraid to have him take a hit on runs. There’s no reason to expect things to be any different on February 7 against the Bucs.

Watch the trenches. It should be an exciting game.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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  1. Mahomes didn’t look quite the same. I’m guessing the turf toe could get better in the next two weeks as well and that would be critical given what Tampa did to that GB offensive line.

    Shaq Barrett could beat Remmers all evening long. Von Miller had his way with Remmers when the Broncos beat the Panthers but I don’t know how much Remmers has improved since then.

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