This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.
The reigning NFL MVP is nearing a return after suffering a dislocated patella in Week 7. Since the injury occurred there have been reports about how Mahomes' anatomy could actually lead to a quicker recovery. It would be unwise to speculate on the natural laxity of Mahomes' knee, but anatomical characteristics can lend themselves to patella dislocations. The patellofemoral joint is rather complex, and variations in the patella or the pathway it travels can increase the chances of the patella coming out of alignment. Furthermore, recurring patella subluxations and dislocations can be a problem if the stabilizing ligament is stressed beyond its yield point. Surgery can be utilized to repair the ligament, though other underlying causes are difficult to directly address.
Fortunately, Mahomes did not require a trip to the operating room following his injury. Instead, it seems likely that he has spent the last few weeks of rehabilitation and recovery treating the associated symptoms while strengthening the surrounding musculature to prevent a recurrence. Furthermore, a stabilizing brace can be worn to assist with patella alignment, and it seems likely the Chiefs quarterback dons some sort of brace on his injured knee. If the Kansas City medical staff is confident in the stability of the patella, Mahomes will be cleared and should be able to return to a high level of play. He may need time to kick out some minor accumulated rust, but Mahomes is a must start upon his return. Monitor his availability throughout this week's