The 2023 National Football League (NFL) season gets underway on Thursday and an injury to Travis Kelce could force the Kansas City Chiefs star to miss out on the opener.
The Chiefs take on the Detroit Lions on Thursday with Kansas City making its first home appearance since lifting Super Bowl LVII.
“Kelce hyperextended his knee today,” Kansas City coach Andy Reid told reporters after practice on Tuesday. “We’ll just see how he does going forward.”
The game is set to begin at 8:20 p.m. ET Thursday at Arrowhead Stadium in Missouri, with Chiefs fans hoping Kelce will be able to recover in time from his injury.
If Kelce doesn’t make it onto the field for the NFL’s curtain raiser, the tight end’s absence will be a huge loss to the Chiefs ahead of the new campaign.
Kelce, who hasn’t missed a game due to injury since 2013, had 110 receptions (third-most in the NFL), 1,338 receiving yards (eighth) and 12 touchdown receptions (second) last year.
However, Kansas City fans will be happy with the latest news surrounding the 33-year-old’s injury – particularly that coming from his older brother.
“He’s got some swelling going on,” Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce told WIP. “But it sounds like, as long as they can get that down, he’s going to have a chance to go. The ligaments and everything are intact structurally from what we know right now, his knee is fine.
“So, really, it’s about getting that swelling down and then seeing how bruised that bone is … But I think he’s going to be good to go. I really do,” Jason concluded.
While the star TE’s availability for Thursday’s opener remains in doubt, per NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, the injury does not look to be a long-term problem.
Within the Chiefs franchise, they also remain confident of putting on a show for the fans even if Kelce is ruled out from playing the Lions.
“Next guy steps in and we roll – that’s what you do if that’s the case,” coach Reid added on Kelce’s potential absence.
“That’s a Hall of Fame tight end, but we’ll be able to do our job and pull across the finish line,” Chiefs wide receiver Skyy Moore told reporters, while admitting that Kansas City’s offense will look different without Kelce.