Travis Kelce took a hard shot at the end of the first half during Saturday’s Wild Card matchup against the Titans. Kelce stayed down on the ground, was wobbly getting up, and lost posession of the ball after contact.
Kelce was having a great game at the time, catching a touchdown in the first quarter.
Kelce will now definitely be in concussion protocol, and his status to return to the game is questionable. The Chiefs have a lead this week, but would need Kelce next week for a game against either Pittsburgh or New England.
Kelce is having his best NFL season, and finished with a career-high eight TD catches. He surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the second consecutive season, and was named to a third straight Pro Bowl.
Without Kelce, Alex Smith will lean on Demarcus Robinson and Tyreek Hill as his primary receivers. The Chiefs have also leaned on Kareem Hunt, who finished the first half with a rushing touchdown and three catches.
Kelce had a hot start to his fourth career playoff game, catching four balls for 66 yards. He caught the first passing TD of the game, getting behind the defense for a 13-yard catch in the first quarter.
But with a 21-3 halftime lead, there is no reason to force Kelce back into Wild Card action. The Chiefs need to get their star tight end ready for the Divisional Round, where the level of opponent will increase exponentially.
Kelce has dealt with concussions earlier this season when he took a hard shot in Kansas City’s primetime win over the Texans. Kelce sat out the second half and was in concussion protocol the entire week before being activated before his team faced the Steelers.
Without Kelce, Demarcus Robinson made an instant impact in the Chiefs offense. When Kelce exited the game with 1:40 left in the first half, Robinson caught four passes on the ensuing drive, including a 14-yard TD to close out the half.