Jeremy Maclin suffered sprained ankle, not torn ACL in wildcard game

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Jan. 9, 2016; Houston; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (19) during the second half against the Texans at NRG Stadium. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Jan. 9, 2016; Houston; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (19) during the second half against the Texans at NRG Stadium. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin does not have a torn ACL in his right knee. That’s what an MRI exam Sunday morning.

What Maclin does have is a high ankle sprain, and his status for Saturday’s game against the New England Patriots remains very much in doubt. The Chiefs say his ability to play is “day-to-day.”

That’s good news for the Chiefs, but it provides no guarantee that the team’s leading receiver will be available.

“Most of his pain is more in the ankle area right now than the knee area,” head coach Andy Reid told the Kansas City media during a lunchtime press conference.

The Chiefs have had several players deal with high ankle sprains during the 2015 season and none bounced back and played the next week. Reid and his offense survived a regular-season game without Maclin, when he did not play against Pittsburgh because he was recovering from a concussion.

Reid’s offense was still effective that day, as quarterback Alex Smith threw for 251 yards, with tight end Travis Kelce and wide receivers Albert Wilson and Chris Conley all catching more than 60 yards of passes. Conley had his first NFL touchdown in that game, catching a 6-yard pass from Smith in the fourth quarter.

Almost three months later, the head coach believes his receiving group has grown to a point that they should can handle Maclin’s absence.

“The guys have matured,” Reid said, specifically mentioning Conley and Wilson. “Frankie (Hammond) is another year older. I think we are OK there.”

There was no update from Reid on the status of starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who left the 30-0 victory over Houston with a concussion in the first half.

The players had the day off on Sunday, but will report back Monday to begin preparations for the Patriots.

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Bob Gretz is the senior editor for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @BobGretzcom.

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