As the Kansas City Chiefs headed into the Super Bowl, many viewers were wondering: Would Patrick Mahomes’ high ankle sprain cause the Chiefs to fumble their chance at a victory? But it turns out the Super Bowl MVP had an ace trainer up his sleeve the entire time.
The doctors, physical therapists and other trainers who work with NFL players are usually behind-the-scenes MVPs. But Chiefs assistant athletic trainer and physical therapist Julie Frymyer is getting a moment in the spotlight after helping Mahomes work through a high ankle sprain he sustained when he was injured in a game against the Jaguars in January.
Two weeks ago, when the Chiefs won the AFC championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals that landed them a spot in the big game, Mahomes proved that his recovery was going well — and he thanked Frymyer on Twitter.
“Julie WAS the reason i was the guy i was on the field today!” Mahomes tweeted. “It takes everyone but she lead the charge all week!!!”
Julie WAS the reason i was the guy i was on the field today! It takes everyone but she lead the charge all week!!! Now let’s get Super Bowl ready!! https://t.co/glPKlL9Qz3
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) January 30, 2023
Frymyer has doctorate in physical therapy and worked as an athletic trainer in college sports before coming to the NFL. As a trainer for Princeton’s football team, she helped a star quarterback continue playing through a debilitating shoulder injury.
She joined the Chiefs in 2018. Two years ago, Frymyer worked with Mahomes through a toe injury, helping him delay a surgery until after the season had ended.
“It says a lot about her,” former Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz told the Wall Street Journal of Frymyer. “These guys all like to have their own doctors, their own people they go see. But Pat is still plenty comfortable just going to Julie from the Chiefs and trusting her with all of his rehab.”
In an interview with NFL.com last week, Frymyer was quick to credit Mahomes with his speedy recovery — though what she said revealed her own hard work, too.
“He comes in at 6 a.m. and he won’t leave until 6:30 p.m.,” she said. “A lot of hours. He’s in meetings a lot of the time, so he would come in super early, we had to capitalize on the time he had. I’d take some of it up to his QB meeting room so we could keep treating him around the clock. Obviously, we had practice then and getting him back in after, getting him in for treatment, then getting rehab in as well.”
The Chiefs seem to know that they have a valuable member of the team in Frymyer. In a video from January that precedes Mahomes’ injury, Chiefs VP of sports medicine and performance Rick Burkholder offered high praise for the athletic trainer.
“She’s the single best clinician I have ever been around,” he said.