Chiefs' Travis Kelce expected to play against Broncos on Thursday night after ankle injury

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Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) walks on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Travis Kelce is expected to be available when the Kansas City Chiefs play the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, despite hurting his ankle when he slipped on the turf in last weekend's win over the Minnesota Vikings.

The Chiefs did not practice Monday, but Kelce was listed as “did not practice” on the injury report, which was an estimation of what would have happened. He went through a walkthrough Tuesday and Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he would be on the field for practice with the expectation that he will also be on the field Thursday night.

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“He’s got quite a little bit of treatment on it and he’s feeling better, which is good,” Reid said. “I’m just going to see, see how he moves around, see how he feels. He’s always been honest with me on things like that, and just see how he does.”

Kelce hurt his ankle late in the first half Sunday, and for a while it appeared that the injury would be significant. Kelce slammed his helmet down on the sideline in frustration, and he headed to the locker room for X-rays before the end of the half.

After receiving some treatment and stretching on the sideline, Kelce talked his way back into the game in the second half, and he came up with a couple of big plays down the stretch. His touchdown reception late in the third quarter made it a two-possession game, and he finished with 10 catches for 67 yards and the score in the 27-20 victory.

“That's a legendary-type game to be able to battle through that,” Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “I didn't see the injury or how bad it was, but looking back on it now and seeing how the ankle rolled, and coming back out and playing at a high level and scoring a touchdown we needed to win the game, it speaks to his toughness and ability to get back out there.”

Kelce has only missed one game because of injury since his rookie season, and that was Week 1 last month, when he hyperextended his knee in the final practice before facing Detroit.

And Kelce tried to talk his way into being active — he went through pregame warmups trying to prove he was OK — before the Chiefs declared him out for the game.

It remains the only game that Kansas City (4-1) has lost this season.

While Kelce has made as many headlines the past four weeks for his relationship with Taylor Swift as for his play on the field, the 34-year-old tight end still has caught 27 passes for 222 yards and three scores. Those are all tops on the team.

“He's a guy that wants to play. He's a competitor at the end of the day,” Mahomes said. "He goes out and battles week in and week out, and sometimes people don't even know that he's not feeling great. He just goes out and plays at a high level.”



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