KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs will take the field against the Detroit Lions in tonight’s NFL season opener without their All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce, who is sidelined due to a knee injury sustained during practice. This marks the first game Kelce has missed due to injury since his rookie season in 2013.
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Why Will Travis Kelce Miss Lions’ Game
Kelce hyperextended his knee during the Kansas City Chiefs’ final full practice session, just two days before the NFL season opener. While he avoided ligament damage, he was dealing with a bone bruise and swelling. Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder and head coach Andy Reid had the final say on his game-day status.
“They’ll wait for swelling to go down and go from there,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted.
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Next Game and Career Milestones
By sitting out, Travis Kelce will have a 10-day window to recover before the Chiefs’ next game on September 17 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kelce is coming off a stellar season, with 110 catches for 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns, earning him All-Pro first-team and Pro Bowl honors.
Other Key Absences
Chris Jones, the All-Pro defensive tackle, was also absent, as he is currently holding out for a new contract. Jones, in the final year of a four-year, $80 million contract, has already been fined millions for missing mandatory workouts and training camp.
In light of these absences, the Chiefs promoted tight end Matt Bushman and defensive tackle Matt Dickerson from the practice squad. Also inactive for the Chiefs were cornerbacks Nic Jones and Darius Rush, defensive end BJ Thompson, and offensive linemen Wanya Morris and Lucas Niang.
Active Roster Updates
Wide receiver Kadarius Toney and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, both dealing with knee issues, were active for the Chiefs. Defensive tackle Turk Wharton also returned to the field for the first time since tearing his ACL last season.
Even without Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs will still be a dangerous team, with the defending Super Bowl champions looking to star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to lead the way. Tight end Noah Gray is likely to get the start for the Chiefs with Kelce out.
Mahomes will also look to fill the Kelce void with more targets for wide receivers Skyy Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Kadarius Toney.
Detroit Lions Named Inactive List
On the Lions’ side, cornerback Emmanuel Moseley was inactive, along with defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs, Romeo Okwara, and Brodric Martin, and cornerback Steven Gilmore.