Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce hyperextended his knee during a recent practice, leaving his availability for the team’s upcoming season opener uncertain, according to head coach Andy Reid.
ESPN reported that while Kelce’s ACL is believed to be intact, he is dealing with knee inflammation. Kelce was officially listed as a limited participant in practice, raising concerns about his streak of not missing a game due to injury since his rookie year in 2013.
The defending champion Chiefs are set to kick off the NFL season against the Detroit Lions on Thursday night. In the event Kelce cannot play, 24-year-old Noah Gray is expected to step in as the starting tight end. Gray had 28 catches for 299 yards and one touchdown in 17 games last season.
Travis Kelce’s Potential Absence Puts Chiefs’ Offensive Prowess at Risk
Kelce’s potential absence could be a significant blow to the Chiefs’ offense as he is quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ favorite target. His unique ability to create separation and make clutch catches has made him an integral part of the team’s success in recent years.
Despite his age, Kelce had a remarkable 2022 season, setting career highs in catches (110) and touchdowns (12), and leading the team with 1,338 receiving yards. An eight-time Pro Bowler, he has accumulated 814 catches, 10,344 receiving yards, and 69 touchdowns in his career.
Additionally, the Chiefs will be closely monitoring the status of Kadarius Toney, who was initially in doubt but is expected to play. With Toney, Sky Moore, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Chiefs will rely on their receiving corps to make a significant impact in the game.