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Chiefs' Tyrann Mathieu Will Play vs. Bengals After Suffering Concussion

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 30, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 14: Tyrann Mathieu #32 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up prior to  a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on November 14, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs will have Tyrann Mathieu in the lineup for the AFC Championship Game.

Kansas City confirmed Sunday it had removed the injury designation from Mathieu, adding he will play against the Cincinnati Bengals after suffering a concussion in the AFC Divisional Round against the Buffalo Bills.

He only logged seven snaps before exiting Kansas City's dramatic 42-36 overtime victory over the Bills.

Josh Allen might have torched the Chiefs secondary anyway, even if it had a healthy Mathieu available. Still, it's probably not entirely a coincidence he threw for 329 yards and four touchdowns and led the Bills offense on two late scoring drives inside the final two minutes.

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JOSH ALLEN AND GABRIEL DAVIS' 4TH TD GIVES THE BILLS THE LEAD WITH 17 SECONDS.<br><br>πŸ“Ί: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BUFvsKC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BUFvsKC</a> on CBS<br>πŸ“±: <a href="https://t.co/bCIjXIlFWh">https://t.co/bCIjXIlFWh</a> <a href="https://t.co/DgdL4Pwvnd">pic.twitter.com/DgdL4Pwvnd</a>

Mathieu earned his third trip to the Pro Bowl after finishing the regular season with 76 tackles, three interceptions and six pass breakups.

The 29-year-old is even more valuable to the team given the general vulnerability of Kansas City's defense. The unit allowed the sixth-most yards per game (251.4) through the air and ranked 24th in yards per attempt (7.3) during the regular season.

The Bills might have been the Chiefs' toughest test before the Super Bowl, but they can't afford to look past Cincinnati. Joe Burrow has acquitted himself nicely in the postseason, throwing for 592 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the Bengals' two wins.

Burrow got sacked nine times in the divisional round yet still showed a level of poise belying his relative inexperience. Going up against Patrick Mahomes and Co., a team Cincinnati beat in the regular season, probably won't faze him.

In the Bengals' 34-31 Week 17 win over the Chiefs, Burrow threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns. Mathieu played all 70 defensive snaps in that game, so his presence then did little to slow down the second-year signal-caller.

Still, with the benefit of a healthy Mathieu, the reigning AFC champions might have better luck keeping their opponent's aerial attack in check in the conference title game than they had in the previous round.