Rich Eisen Claims He’s Never Seen Anything Like Patrick Mahomes’ Return From Injury, Yet It Happened Twice This Year With Ryan Tannehill

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Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain during Saturday’s Divisional Round win over Jacksonville. He initially stayed in the game, then left and went to the locker room, then came back and finished the game.

It was a gutsy performance. Mahomes limped around the field and led his team to a victory. He said he plans to play in the AFC Championship next week. What a warrior.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes limps after injuring his ankle against the Jaguars.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes limps after injuring his ankle against the Jaguars. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For NFL Network analyst Rich Eisen, Mahomes’ return from that ankle injury was particularly incredible. Eisen posited that no quarterback can finish a game with that kind of pain. Except Ben Roethlisberger, 10 years ago.

Rich Eisen praises Mahomes but forgets about Ryan Tannehill

Eisen, like many people, were effusive in their praise for Mahomes. He certainly gutted out a tough performance in the playoffs.

But the problem is that Mahomes didn’t break his leg or tear his ACL. High-ankle sprains are no joke, but they can be played upon. In fact, Eisen forgot that an NFL quarterback already did this earlier this season.

Actually, he did it twice. Twitter users were quick to correct Eisen’s highly-incorrect take.

The Twitter users are correct: Titans QB Ryan Tannehill twice suffered ankle sprains this season and both times he returned to the game. Just like Patrick Mahomes. Except twice as many times.

In Week 7, Tannehill hurt his ankle against the Colts on the first play of the fourth quarter. He missed one play, the Titans punted, and he returned for the following series. He even led the team to a 19-10 victory.

Following the game, Tannehill was in a walking boot. He would miss the next two contests with that injury.

Then, in Week 15, Tannehill had his foot landed on by Los Angeles Chargers defender Khalil Mack. The injury looked bad and Tannehill was carted off the field.

Titans QB Ryan Tannehill returned to this game after being carted off the field. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

But, wouldn’t you know, Tannehill returned to the game. The hit occurred on the first series of the game. And, after earlier being CARTED OFF THE FIELD, Tannehill missed only one offensive series, returning early in the second quarter.

He was clearly limited by the injury, though, and the Titans lost to the Chargers, 17-14. Tannehill had surgery on the ankle later that week and his season was finished.

Again, this is not to take away from what Mahomes accomplished on Saturday. But we have to keep things in perspective.

It was cool and he showed toughness. But it wasn’t some incredible, unheard of toughness.

It’s not like when Phillip Rivers played the AFC Championship Game on a torn ACL in 2007. Or when Donovan McNabb threw four touchdowns on a broken ankle.

C’mon, Rich, you know better.


Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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