Travis Kelce Injury: How Will His Injury Impact the Chiefs’ Offense?
Travis Kelce is one of the best tight ends in the NFL and a key weapon for the Kansas City Chiefs. He has been a consistent and reliable target for Patrick Mahomes, leading the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns last season. He also played a vital role in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run, scoring four touchdowns in the playoffs.
However, Kelce’s availability for the season opener against the Detroit Lions on Thursday night is in doubt after he suffered a knee injury in practice on Tuesday. Here is everything you need to know about his injury, its severity, and its impact on the Chiefs.
Travis Kelce Injury: What Happened to Travis Kelce?
According to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, Kelce hyperextended his knee during a drill in Tuesday’s practice. He was seen limping off the field and did not return to the session. He was later evaluated by the team’s medical staff and underwent further tests to determine the extent of the damage.
How Serious is Travis Kelce’s Injury?
The exact severity of Kelce’s injury is not yet known, but Reid said that his status for Thursday night’s game is uncertain. Hyperextension of the knee can cause damage to the ligaments, cartilage, or meniscus, depending on the force and angle of the injury. The recovery time can vary from a few days to several weeks or months, depending on the degree of injury and the treatment required.
Some examples of players who have suffered hyperextended knees in recent years are Carson Wentz, who tore his ACL and LCL in 2017; Saquon Barkley, who sprained his MCL in 2020; and Dak Prescott, who dislocated his ankle and fractured his fibula in 2020. All of them missed significant time due to their injuries. However, not all hyperextended knees are serious or require surgery.
For instance, Tom Brady hyperextended his knee in 2013 but did not miss any games. Similarly, Aaron Rodgers hyperextended his knee in 2018 but played through the pain and finished the season. Therefore, until more information is available, it is hard to say how serious Kelce’s injury is and how long he will be out.
Travis Kelce, who is a top player for the Chiefs, might not be able to play in the game against the Lions on Thursday because he hurt his knee. However, it seems like the injury is not very serious and won’t keep him out of games for a long time:
#Chiefs star TE Travis Kelce’s status is in doubt for Thursday night’s opener vs. the #Lions because of his knee injury, but sources tell me and @TomPelissero it’s not believed to be a long-term injury. They’ll wait for swelling to go down and go from there. pic.twitter.com/pzuOYz2wt2
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 5, 2023
How Will Travis Kelce’s Injury Impact the Chiefs’ Offense?
Travis Kelce’s injury is a major blow to the Chiefs’ offense, as he is one of their most productive and versatile players. Kelce can line up as a traditional tight end, a slot receiver, or even as a wideout, creating mismatches for defenses with his size, speed, and route-running ability. He is also a reliable blocker who can help in both pass protection and run blocking.
Without Kelce, the Chiefs will have to rely more on their other pass-catchers, such as Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle. They will also have to use more of their backup tight ends, such as Blake Bell, Noah Gray, and Jody Fortson. However, none of these players can match Kelce’s production or skill set.
Kelce’s absence could also affect Mahomes’ performance, as he has developed a strong chemistry and trust with his tight end over the years. Mahomes has targeted Kelce more than any other receiver since 2018, completing 72% of his passes to him for 4,281 yards and 29 touchdowns. Without Kelce, Mahomes may have to adjust his reads and timing with his other receivers.
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Can the Chiefs Still Win Without Travis Kelce?
The Chiefs are still a formidable team without Travis Kelce, as they have one of the best quarterbacks in Mahomes, one of the best coaches in Reid, and one of the best rosters in the league. They have also shown resilience and adaptability in overcoming injuries and adversity in the past. However, Kelce’s injury could make their path to another Super Bowl more difficult, especially if he misses more than one game.
The Chiefs are facing a tough schedule this season, with opponents such as the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and Los Angeles Chargers. They will need all their weapons to compete with these teams and secure a top seed in the AFC. Kelce’s injury could also have implications for fantasy football owners who drafted him early or traded for him.
Kelce was widely considered the best tight end in fantasy football this year, as he was projected to score more points than any other player at his position by a wide margin. Without him, fantasy owners will have to scramble to find a replacement or hope that he returns soon. Kelce’s injury is unfortunate for him, his team, and his fans.
However, he is also known for his toughness and competitiveness, so he will likely do everything he can to recover quickly and get back on the field. Until then, the Chiefs will have to find ways to cope without their star tight end and hope that he can return to his dominant form soon.