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In 2017, the entire NFL season was thrown up for grabs when Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in Week 2 at Minnesota. The Green Bay Packers, who had reached the NFC Championship Game the year before, barely had a pulse when Rodgers returned two months later.

On Thursday night, the entire NFL season was thrown into disarray when Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered a dislocated right kneecap on a quarterback sneak against Denver. The Chiefs, who reached the AFC Championship Game last season, entered the night 4-2 and were viewed as the primary challengers to New England’s throne in the conference.

The Packers, who are 5-1 under first-year coach Matt LaFleur, play at the Chiefs next Sunday night. Mahomes, the NFL’s reigning MVP who had blazed a record-setting pace to start this season, almost certainly will not be available for that game. 

“By video, Patrick Mahomes has a significant knee injury,” David Chao, the former Chargers team physician, wrote at his ProFootballDoc.com site. “The best the Chiefs can hope for is a return in a few weeks with a brace.”

Further testing will determine if there is ligament damage. Those results will determine whether Mahomes will play again this season.

Mahomes was replaced by 35-year-old Matt Moore. The 35-year-old Moore entered the league with Carolina in 2007. He is 15-15 in 30 career starts. He’s completed 59.6 percent of his passes with 45 touchdowns, 36 interceptions and an 81.1 passer rating. With the Chiefs playing on Thursday, coach Andy Reid will have a few extra days to pick up the pieces and tailor an offense around Moore’s strengths.

Rodgers vs. Mahomes would have been a Game of the Year-style matchup.

“Pat is a lot of fun to watch,” Rodgers said last season. “I see a lot of – and I don’t want to disrespect him with this, I hope it’s not – I see a lot of my young self in him. He rolls around, he runs around, he makes plays. He’s got a big arm, he’s talented, plays with a great swagger. He’s fun to watch.”

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Packers practice-squad cornerback/kick returner Tremon Smith spent last season and training camp this summer with the Chiefs. Smith played with and against Mahomes, having played cornerback last season but receiver and running back this summer.

“That guy will wow you every day, really,” Smith said recently. “He’s got those no-look passes, of course, and he’s throwing it off his back foot. He’s injured right now so he’s been babying that left foot, so he’s been throwing everything off his right foot. It don’t matter how he’s throwing it there, it’s going to get there and you can’t hand the ball off better than he throw it. He’s amazing.”

Mahomes sustained the injury on a fourth-and-1 play with 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter. Mahomes tried a quarterback sneak for the first down, and Mahomes appeared to get tangled up with center Austin Reiter amid the pileup at the line of scrimmage.

Mahomes remained the field following the play and removed his helmet, showing a grimace on his face before the team's athletic trainers arrived. Players from both teams took a knee on the field surrounding Mahomes as he underwent an on-field evaluation.

A cart was brought on to the field, but Mahomes arose to his feet and walked to the sideline with support from trainers. He eventually disregarded the assistance and walked to the locker room under his own power.

The only other quarterback on the Chiefs is undrafted free agent Kyle Shurmur, who is on the practice squad. He is the son of Giants coach Pat Shurmur and a nephew of the late formre Packers defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur.

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