Chiefs TE Travis Kelce To Miss Week 1

4:56pm: While Kelce pleaded with Andy Reid and trainer Rick Burkholder to go, the Chiefs will hold out their top skill player, per ESPN’s Ed Werder and’s Ian Rapoport. This will be Kelce’s first injury-induced absence since Week 17 of the 2013 season, but he is not expected to miss much time.

8:57am: In the unfamiliar position of having Travis Kelce uncertain for a game due to injury, the Chiefs are not ruling out their superstar tight end for Week 1 just yet. Though, the team exercising caution still looks like where this is headed.

The hyperextended knee and bone bruise Kelce suffered in practice Tuesday have him slated as a game-time decision for Thursday’s opener, Tom Pelissero of tweets. While the Chiefs will put Kelce through a workout,’s Ed Werder adds the 11th-year pass catcher is unlikely to play against the Lions. During a Good Morning Football appearance (via’s Ian Rapoport), Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt confirmed Kelce will be a game-time call.

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Last season, the Chiefs did not play any games in which both Kelce and Chris Jones were not on the field. That makes tonight’s outlook quite unusual. Jones’ holdout persists; he remains on the team’s reserve/did not report list. For Kelce, this is a strang spot. Although the perennial All-Pro did need a near-full-season delay to begin his NFL career due to undergoing microfracture knee surgery in 2013, he has stayed remarkably healthy since.

Kelce, 33, has not missed a game due to injury since that 2013 season finale. The Chiefs rested Kelce in two season finales (2017 and 2020) and were without him in Week 16 of the 2021 season due to a COVID-19 contraction.

Not having Kelce would create an interesting game plan for the defending Super Bowl champions. Kansas City let JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman walk in free agency, and while the team chose to keep seven wide receivers on its 53-man roster, few answers have emerged regarding which players will see prominent roles. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and 2022 second-rounder Skyy Moore represent the best bets, but Kadarius Toney — a player the team wanted to rise into the WR1 role, before yet another injury took place — has recovered from July meniscus surgery and is on track to suit up. At tight end, the Chiefs have third-year backup Noah Gray (28 receptions for 299 yards last season) and the recently re-signed Blake Bell. Jody Fortson landed on season-ending IR in mid-August.

That said, Kelce will be nearly impossible for the Chiefs to replace. He is riding an unparalleled streak of seven consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. While rules to open up passing attacks give modern-era wideouts and tight ends advantages, no other tight end has totaled more than four 1,000-yard years throughout a career. Kelce, who became an even more prominent piece after the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill, finished last season with career-high numbers in receptions (110) and touchdowns (12) to go along with 1,338 yards.

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