Travis Kelce is said to be leaning towards sitting out the game against the Lions, but the Chiefs CEO isn’t ruling it out entirely
The Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions, may have to face the Detroit Lions in their 2023 regular season opener without one of their key players. After Tuesday’s practice session, Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid informed the press that star tight end Travis Kelce had hyperextended his knee. However, subsequent reports have suggested that Kelce is actually dealing with a bone bruise. Kelce did not participate in practice on Wednesday, and as a result, the Chiefs have listed him as questionable for Week 1.
According to ESPN, the odds are currently against Kelce playing, although he is determined to make an effort to be on the field. On Thursday, Kelce is expected to receive treatment for his knee at 1 Arrowhead Drive. His ability to perform and his symptoms will be the primary factors influencing whether Coach Reid decides to have him suit up.
Kelce is widely regarded as the best tight end in the NFL. He is coming off a remarkable season in which he caught a career-high 110 passes for 1,338 yards and an impressive 12 touchdowns. This stellar performance helped lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl LVII victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, with Kelce becoming the first tight end in NFL history to lead a Super Bowl-winning team in receiving yards twice. In that game, he recorded six receptions for 81 yards and scored one touchdown.
Since his rookie season in 2013, Kelce has not missed a game due to injury, with the exception of his debut season when a knee injury sidelined him after just one snap. Over the past four seasons, the 33-year-old has consistently been Kansas City’s leading receiver. If he were to miss the season opener, it would provide a significant opportunity for the unproven wide receiving corps.
Players like Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Rashee Rice, Richie James, Justyn Ross, and Justin Watson are all vying for opportunities in the offense. Without Kelce as Patrick Mahomes’ primary target, the competition for catches should be wide open. Additionally, Noah Gray and Blake Bell are listed as Kelce’s backups at tight end. Gray had 28 receptions for 299 yards and one touchdown last year, while Bell appeared in only three games.
Reflecting on Kelce’s knee injury, Skyy Moore commented, “I was on that play, running a route. I noticed he was limping as he walked off the field. It was reassuring to see him get up on his own and leave the field.”
Kelce has led all tight ends in receiving yards per game since 2019 (79.8). He has a chance to become the seventh player in NFL history to achieve eight consecutive seasons with 1,000 receiving yards, although his status for Week 1 remains uncertain.