Travis Kelce

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/25-12/26/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Christmas and today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Steven Sims

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Chiefs’ Travis Kelce Ruled Out

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been ruled out for today’s game against the Steelers (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). There was hope yesterday that he could be cleared in time, but Kelce ultimately did not test out the league’s COVID-19 protocol. 

[RELATED: Chiefs’ Hill Cleared To Play]

Tyreek Hill was given the green light on Saturday, but Kelce, linebacker Nick Bolton, and offensive tackle Lucas Niang will have to sit this game out. Fortunately for the Chiefs, they more or less have their playoff spot clinched and the AFC West title in hand. Still, a loss today coupled with a Patriots victory over the Bills would hurt their chances of a first-round bye.

Kelce, 32, has 83 catches for 1,066 yards and seven touchdowns so far this year. Just last week, he earned yet another Pro Bowl nod, giving him seven for his career.

The Chiefs, sans Kelce, will look to backup TEs Blake Bell and Noah Gray for blocking as they look for their eleventh win of the year.

Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill Cleared To Play

The Chiefs will have Tyreek Hill in uniform for tomorrow’s game against the Steelers (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). Meanwhile, they’re still awaiting word on tight end Travis Kelce, who has yet to be given the green light. 

The Chiefs have, for all intents and purposes, punched their ticket to the playoffs as well as the AFC West title. Still, they’re pushing to lock up a first-round bye over the next few weeks. A loss to the Steelers, coupled with a Pats win, would knock them out of the lead.

Hill, 27, has 102 catches for 1,178 yards and nine touchdowns through 14 games. Kelce’s also in the midst of a strong year with 83 catches for 1,066 yards and seven touchdowns. If he’s not cleared in time, this will mark his first missed game of the year and just his third missed game since 2014. If Kelce can’t go, the Chiefs will lean on backup tight ends Blake Bell and Noah Gray for blocking support.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Chiefs Place TE Travis Kelce On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Chiefs could be without a major offensive weapon this weekend against the Steelers. Kansas City has placed star tight end Travis Kelce on the reserve/COVID-19 list, according to veteran reporter Herbie Teope (on Twitter). Kelce will be joined by kicker Harrison Butker and cornerback Charvarius Ward, who also landed on the list.

While Kelce’s placement on the list puts his status in doubt, it doesn’t definitively mean he’ll be sidelined on Sunday. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter), Kelce is vaccinated, so he could be good to know this weekend considering the league’s new COVID protocols.

Butker, however, is unvaccinated and will miss Kansas City’s Week 16 game, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Chiefs prepared for a potential Butker absence when they added Elliott Fry to the practice squad last week. Fry, who has bounced around in recent years without seeing much game action (one career appearance, in 2020), will kick against the Steelers.

Kelce is having another incredible season for Kansas City, hauling in 83 receptions for 1,066 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Despite missing almost all of his rookie season due to a knee injury, Kelce has been remarkably durable throughout his career. He has missed only a pair of regular-season games since 2014. If the veteran is sidelined against Pittsburgh, the team will likely turn to Blake Bell and Noah Gray at tight end.

The Chiefs might not be as prepared for Ward’s potential absence; the 25-year-old has started nine of his 10 games this season.

Chiefs Sign Travis Kelce To Extension

Hours after the 49ers and tight end George Kittle agreed to a record-breaking extension, the Chiefs agreed to a new deal with their own stud TE, Travis Kelce. It’s a four-year, $57.25MM deal with $28MM guaranteed, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). On Friday morning, the Chiefs officially announced Kelce’s new contract.

Kelce was already under club control through 2021, and the extension will be added onto that pact, keeping the five-time Pro Bowler with Kansas City through 2025, his age-36 season. He will not take home any new money this year, as Albert Breer of SI.com tweets, but he will be due a sizable guaranteed roster bonus early next year. The Chiefs, of course, authorized a historic ten-year contract for QB Patrick Mahomes just last month, so the league’s premier QB-TE combo will have a chance to bring home several more Lombardi Trophies before their time together is up.

Selected by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2013 draft, Kelce began to make his mark in his sophomore campaign, recording 67 catches for 862 yards and five scores. He followed that up with a similarly productive 2015 season, which culminated in his first Pro Bowl appearance. KC rewarded him with a five-year, $46MM extension that today’s deal builds on, and that’s when Kelce really took off.

He has recorded four consecutive seasons with over 1,000 receiving yards, the first tight end to ever accomplish that feat, and he has earned two First Team All-Pro nods during that time. He and Mahomes have been nothing short of dominant, and with Kelce creating mismatches down the seams and over the middle, speed merchants like wide receiver Tyreek Hill have had even more room to run.

Though the Chiefs suffered a difficult loss in the AFC Championship Game following the 2018 season, they won it all last year, with Kelce catching 19 balls for 207 yards and four TDs in the team’s three-game postseason jaunt through the Super Bowl. If they go back-to-back in 2020, as many are predicting, Kelce will be a big reason why.

The Cincinnati product did not quite match Kittle’s $15MM AAV, but he is also four years older than Kittle, is not called upon to block as much, and has already earned a boatload of money in his playing career. At this point, he is just trying to add more to his Hall of Fame resume, and he is in a great spot to do just that.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first reported that Kelce and the Chiefs were on the verge of a long-term accord (Twitter link).

This Date In Transactions History: Travis Kelce Signs Extension

Travis Kelce will check off another career milestone this weekend when he makes his first Super Bowl appearance. Four years ago today, he achieved one of the first major accomplishments, inking a five-year extension with the Chiefs.

Back when the deal was signed in 2016, Kelce was an up-and-comer at the tight end position. The former third-rounder had compiled 850-plus receiving yards and five touchdowns for the second-straight season, and he earned his first Pro Bowl nod. Despite the production, Kelce was still working to endear himself to the organization. Kelce missed his entire rookie season recovering from knee surgery, and coach Andy Reid referred to him as “immature” following an incident during his sophomore campaign.

Still, the organization believed in him enough to give him a market-setting five-year, $46MM extension (with a bit more than $20MM guaranteed). In hindsight, that deal ended up working out brilliantly for the Chiefs. Kelce has evolved into the league’s premier tight end, averaging 92 receptions, 1,182 receiving yards, and 6.75 touchdowns over the past four seasons.

That extension is set to expire following the 2020 season, and assuming Kelce remains relatively healthy, he should earn another lucrative payday. The $46MM deal is still the highest at the position, but the veteran has predictably been surpassed in guaranteed money (where Trey Burton, Jordan Reed, and Zach Ertz top Kelce) and average value (Jimmy Graham is the leader).

Austin Hooper, Hunter Henry, and Eric Ebron are among the players hitting free agency this offseason, so there’s a chance the market could reset. Kelce will surely have his eye on those various deals as he prepared for the 2021 offseason. For now, the tight end is going to prepare for the biggest game of his life, although he may briefly think back to four years ago today when he inked his extension with the Chiefs.

AFC West Notes: Carr, Chiefs, Broncos

This weekend, the latest report pointing to Derek Carr‘s less-than-solid standing with the Raiders emerged, courtesy of Bleacher Report’s Master Tefatsion (on Twitter), which indicated Oakland was shopping its starting quarterback. With a soft veteran quarterback market, perhaps helping the Jaguars on the Nick Foles front, that would make sense. However, the Raiders do not have a viable alternative to Carr, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes they are not believed to have strong interest in trading their five-year starter. Jon Gruden has offered effusive praise for Carr, and Florio adds — Gruden’s Kyler Murray interest notwithstanding — the Raider HC is still believed to be a big fan of the 27-year-old incumbent. He confirmed as much this week.

Here is the latest from the AFC West, shifting to another player recently mentioned in trade rumors:

  • Travis Kelce will have some rehab to do this offseason. The Chiefs‘ All-Pro tight end underwent ankle surgery, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets, and may not be available for the team’s offseason program. Although Garafolo describes this as a cleanup procedure, the 29-year-old tight end will miss some of the Chiefs’ program. Kelce is, however, expected to be ready by training camp.
  • A position distinction fight appears to be brewing in Kansas City. With the Chiefs all set to tag Dee Ford, the somewhat antiquated franchise tag designations are back in play. The team will likely push for the edge rusher to be classified as a linebacker, which comes with a $15.443MM price, rather than a defensive end ($17.128MM), Florio writes. Ford has played outside linebacker throughout his NFL career, but if he returns to the Chiefs in 2019, he will play defensive end in Steve Spagnuolo‘s 4-3 scheme. This happened with Terrell Suggs and the Ravens in 2008, in a process that ended with Suggs categorized as a hybrid linebacker/defensive end for a compromise, and may become an issue for the Texans and Jadeveon Clowney. However, the Chiefs transitioning to a new defense provides a bit of a new wrinkle. The Chiefs are planning to listen to offers for Ford.
  • Matt Paradis will still reach free agency, but Mike Klis of 9News tweets the Broncos are not out of the running for their four-year center starter. The Broncos and Paradis’ camp had a productive meeting in Indianapolis, per Klis, but not enough to keep the snapper off the market. Denver’s line would lose a major piece, the last part of its Super Bowl 50 blocking quintet, if Paradis walks. Despite coming off a broken leg and being set to turn 30 in 2019, the former sixth-round pick’s previous consistency may well put him on a path to challenge Jason Kelce‘s new $11MM-AAV deal as the top center contract.
  • With the low-end RFA tender having climbed to $2.025MM, the Broncos may be leaning toward non-tendering Pro Bowl long snapper Casey Kreiter. With the highest-paid deep snapper (the Chargers’ Jake McQuaide) averaging a $1.175MM-per-year salary, Klis tweets it would appear the Broncos will not tender Kreiter and instead try to work out a deal at a lower price. Long snappers generally have a set pay scale, with 17 of them making between $1MM and $1.175MM, so a member of this club getting nearly double that in a season would be noteworthy.

AFC Notes: Draft, Kelce, Jets, Patriots

The Browns and Titans have done an admirable job of setting themselves up well for the upcoming draft, writes ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert. Cleveland acquired three extra draft picks this season, and they’re guaranteed to have at least two picks in each of the first four rounds. Despite the fact that the 2017 draft is expected to feature weak quarterback offerings, Seifert believes the Browns could still select a signal-caller with one of their many picks.

Meanwhile, the Titans have the Rams’ first-round and third-round picks in this year’s draft, and the presence of Marcus Mariota means they won’t have to reach for a quarterback. In total, the team will have eight picks, including five in the first three rounds.

Let’s check out some other notes from the AFC…

  • Travis Kelce is having a career season, but the Chiefs‘ tight end can’t help but wonder whether he’d be a bigger star in a larger market. “I talk to my manager about that a lot and it is what it is,” Kelce said on PFT Live (via ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio). “I mean it kind of played a part in terms of branching out into the TV world for me. It’s one of those things where you just kind of, you come out of the draft, you just want to be as marketable as possible I think. That’s one of the things about the NFL is that you have small-market teams, big-market teams. I feel like the bigger market teams do kind of have an advantage in terms of off-the-field money. I think when you have big-time businesses around that want to be part of the sports community and the athletic community it’s a huge advantage in the bigger markets. So without a doubt.”
  • The drafting of another quarterback would just confirm that the Jets are “clueless,” writes ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini. By selecting a quarterback, general manager Mike Maccagnan would be acknowledging that he blew the Christian Hackenberg pick, and Cimini adds that it’s way too early to give up on the rookie. The writer does note that the Panthers followed a similar path in 2011, when they bailed on former second-rounder Jimmy Clausen in favor of rookie Cam Newton. Of course, as Cimini points out, there’s no Cam Newton-type talent in this year’s draft.
  • Patriots practice squad linebacker Trevor Bates saw his salary increased to $18K a week, reports ESPN’s Mike Reiss (via Twitter). For reference, minimum salary for practice squad players is $6.9K a week. The University of Maine product was a seventh-round pick in this past year’s draft, but he was cut by the Colts in mid-October.