KC Chiefs Rule Out TE Travis Kelce Before Week 18 Game vs. Chargers

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 03: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs stands on the sideline during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 03, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Chiefs 27-19. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Despite some initial optimism surrounding Kelce’s status, the Chiefs’ star TE won’t be active in the club’s final regular season game.

The Kansas City Chiefs are closing in on kickoff for their Week 18 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. There’s a bit of a late shift regarding one particular player, however, on the offensive side of the ball.

Despite growing optimism surrounding tight end Travis Kelce’s chances to play on Sunday, those hopes have been extinguished. Per an announcement from the team, the future Hall of Fame tight end is downgraded to out for Week 18.

Earlier this week, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid ruled out quarterback Patrick Mahomes but wouldn’t do the same for anyone else. Leaving the door open for Kelce and defensive tackle Chris Jones to play, he carried that same mentality throughout the week. When Friday afternoon’s injury report came out, Kelce nor Jones carried a designation for game day even after being limited in practice. Kelce was listed with a neck ailment, but no designation led many to believe that his chances were increasing.

On Sunday morning, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Kelce was “expected” to play and get a chance to extend his historic 1,000-yard receiving streak. The Chiefs apparently had other plans. Joshua Brisco of Arrowhead Report covered the Schefter report earlier on Sunday:

“Chiefs are expected to give Kelce a chance to get it today even though their playoff seed and spot is locked in,” Schefter posted on Twitter/X.

Kelce’s eighth-consecutive 1,000-yard season would break his own record for consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for a tight end. Former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has the second-longest thousand-yard streak with three consecutive seasons over 1,000 from 2014-2016. No other tight ends have more than two.

With Kelce being ruled out, he ends the 2023-24 regular season just 16 yards short of the 1,000 mark. He still holds a comfortable lead for consecutive such campaigns among tight ends, but a chance to make even more history is missed. Now, the 34-year-old will get a different opportunity to rest up and prepare for a Wild Card Weekend matchup next week against an opponent that has yet to be determined.