Mahomes spent the next two snaps playing with the same helmet, according to the Associated Press, despite having an obvious hole on the left side — likely due to the minus-4 temperature the pair of teams navigated, which marked the fourth-coldest game in league history, the AP reported.
Eventually, officials forced him to get another helmet from the sideline to finish the drive — which ended with another Harrison Butker field goal in Kansas City’s 26-7 win — and wear for the remainder of the game.
“I got in the huddle and everybody was telling me,” Mahomes told reporters postgame, according to The Athletic. “I wasn’t coming out of the game. It was definitely a first.”
Patrick Mahomes needed a new helmet in the third quarter of the Chiefs’ 26-17 win against the Dolphins.Getty Images
Mahomes encountered a problem, though, when the backup helmet was “frozen” and he “couldn’t get it on,” he told reporters.
Still, the referees didn’t force Mahomes to exit for a snap after changing his helmet or make the Chiefs call a timeout, which confused NBC rules analyst Terry McAulay.
“Equipment change, they stopped the clock. He really should have to go out. or they take a time-out,” McAulay said, after broadcaster Jason Garrett joked McAulay was “exasperated” by the decision.
Patrick Mahomes said his helmet shattering was “definitely a first.”Getty Images
It was also unclear, according to Sports Illustrated, whether Mahomes received — or why he did not receive — a concussion test following the hit with Elliott, where both helmets slammed together after Mahomes scrambled to set up a first-and-goal.
Mahomes completed 23-of-41 passes for 262 yards and a touchdown in the win, while the Chiefs’ offense, which struggled for most of the regular season, found a rhythm against the Dolphins’ defense and never trailed.
If the Bills defeat the Steelers on Monday, Kansas City will travel to Buffalo — in the first road playoff game of Mahomes’ career — for the divisional round, but a Pittsburgh win would secure a matchup with the Texans.
Houston crushed the Browns, 45-14, in the other AFC wild-card matchup Saturday, with C.J. Stroud throwing for three touchdowns in his postseason debut.