Watch: Patrick Mahomes helmet cracked open during Chiefs vs Dolphins clash, forced to make equipment change by refs

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid started the 2023 NFL season with sky-high hopes after securing the Super Bowl last season. However, this season became one of the worst seasons in their franchise, as they even succumbed to below-average teams. Mahomes too lost his cool on the field several times, especially on his offensive weapons, due to their lackluster performance.

Nevertheless, Pat didn’t lose hope at all and guided his squad to their third consecutive playoff race this season. The defending champion proceeded to their next match after beating the Miami Dolphins in their playoff match. Besides the QB’s on-field excellence, his helmet cracking on the field also raised eyebrows in the NFL community.

Patrick Mahomes helmets snapped into pieces

During the bone-chilling AFC wild-card playoff game between the Chiefs and the Dolphins, the frigid conditions at Arrowhead Stadium led to a surprising turn of events for Patrick Mahomes.

The extreme cold, with temperatures plummeting to minus-4 degrees at kickoff, created an unusual challenge for players on both teams. Mahomes, breaking loose for a run towards the goal line, found himself colliding with Dolphins safety DeShon Elliott. The force of the hit seemed to have taken a toll on the material of his helmet. The outcome was a visibly shattered helmet with a large hole on the left side.

Despite the setback and the harsh weather conditions, the Alpine F1 owner showcased his resilience by steering the Chiefs’ offense with precision. His remarkable performance included 262 passing yards and a touchdown. Besides that, the signal-caller displayed his versatility with an impressive 41 rushing yards, proving that even equipment malfunctions and adverse weather couldn’t hinder his impact on the game.

Patrick Mahomes allowed to change helmets without timeout

Patrick Mahomes hit the headlines for changing his helmet following the equipment issue. What stood out was the debate that ensued over the handling of the situation by the officials and whether the Chiefs were given preferential treatment.

Typically, quarterbacks in the league carry a second helmet as a contingency plan for such scenarios. In Mahomes’ case, retrieving the alternate helmet became the solution to keep the game flowing seamlessly. However, this decision was not without controversy, as former NFL referee Terry McAulay expressed his reservations about the officials’ handling of the situation.

Terry questioned why the Chiefs were not required to take a timeout during the helmet change. According to protocol, when a player faces a critical equipment issue, the norm is either to take a timeout or have the player temporarily leave the game. In Pat’s case, neither of these actions occurred.

“They stopped the clock, changed the equipment, and he really should have to leave or they take a time-out,” he remarked via FTW USA Today.

McAulay’s perspective suggests that the officials might have been overly lenient in allowing the helmet change without imposing the usual consequences. This controversy became more acute as the officials had been blamed several times this season for favoring big teams like the Chiefs.

Looking ahead, the defending champion is set to face either the Houston Texans or the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round.


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Maliha is an insightful sports writer with over a year of experience focusing on the NFL. Initially venturing into both NFL and NBA coverage, her journey began without a particular affinity for American football. However, her passion for the sport blossomed as she started following football more. Now, a huge NFL fan, Maliha meticulously follows every development within the league. She always wants to ensure her analysis is comprehensive and up-to-date to fellow readers.


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