Patrick Mahomes conceded he made a mistake on Monday night when he shared a brief postgame embrace with New England Patriots star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who later tested positive for coronavirus.
Mahomes, speaking to reporters by conference call on Wednesday, said the incident was a "mental lapse" that he committed out of habit.
"Knowing that I went up to him after the game and just gave him the high-five like I've done my whole career and not thinking about it was, I mean, a little bit of a mental lapse," the 2018 NFL MVP said.
Mahomes also said he is isolating from his pregnant fiancee while he is being tested.
Few thought much of the the short exchange of pleasantries between Mahomes and Gilmore, the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year. The Chiefs won a good game, 26-10.
The Patriots put up a good fight but struggled without starting quarterback Cam Newton, who was out for the game after testing positive late last week.
New England players were divided up onto two planes for the Monday journey to Kansas City, one carrying players deemed at greater risk of potentially having been exposed to the virus.
The unusual decision set an ominous tone for a game that was surprisingly entertaining considering the Pats started backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and later yanked him in favor of nominal third-stringer Jarrett Stidham.
The revelation of Gilmore's positive came on Wednesday came amid a flurry of disappointing news for the NFL. The Tennessee Titans reported two additional new positives, bringing their outbreak up to 20 team personnel and players. As well, the Las Vegas Raiders reported their first positive case.
Mahomes on Tuesday detailed the whirlwind 36 hours in which the Patriots-Chiefs game was postponed and then rescheduled for Monday -- and warned that complacency would be a mistake.