Kelce’s knee injury is minor, but his status for the Lions game is uncertain

Photo of Travis Kelce

There’s uncertainty surrounding another key player on the Kansas City Chiefs ahead of the season opener against the Detroit Lions this Thursday. During practice, Travis Kelce, the tight end, experienced a hyperextension of his knee, which was reported by head coach Andy Reid on Tuesday.

According to reports from NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, it’s likely that Kelce sustained a bone bruise and avoided a severe knee injury. Nevertheless, his availability for Thursday’s game is up in the air. A clearer picture of his Week 1 status should emerge once the swelling in Kelce’s knee diminishes.

In Tuesday’s practice, Kelce was limited in his participation.

If Kelce is unable to play, it would be a significant setback for the Super Bowl champions since he hasn’t missed a game due to injury since 2013. In 2022, Kelce had a standout season with 110 receptions (the third-highest in the NFL), 1,338 yards (eighth), and 12 touchdowns (second).

Since Patrick Mahomes took over as quarterback in 2018, Kelce has amassed 493 catches and 6,298 receiving yards, the most of any QB-pass catcher duo during that period. With eight consecutive Pro Bowl appearances, Kelce has been the Chiefs’ leader in receptions for six of the last seven seasons. In the event that Kelce is sidelined, Noah Gray and Blake Bell are the likely tight end options.

Heading into the offseason, the Chiefs had questions at the receiver position, with expectations that young players like Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore would take on more significant roles. The confidence amid discussions about wide receivers was that Kelce would remain a reliable target for Patrick Mahomes.

However, with only two days left until the 2023 Kickoff Game, that assumption is now uncertain. Furthermore, with the Chris Jones situation still unresolved, the Chiefs could potentially be without two of their most prominent stars come Thursday.


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