Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce missed all offseason workouts following ankle surgery. It was encouraging to see him catching passes from Patrick Mahomes at the beginning of minicamp. All quarterbacks and rookies reported to Missouri Western State University on Tuesday.
Kelce was one of the early arrivals. He wanted to test out his injured ankle, and it was a big thumbs up, as ESPN’s Adam Teicher revealed.
“I didn’t have any issues today,” said Kelce. “It’s good to get a sweat going, take the visor off and put a helmet on, get out there and start running around.”
Travis Kelce Takes Cautious Approach With Injury
Kelce was cautious with his ankle this offseason. There were talks of him returning to practice back in June, but the All-Pro tight end decided to hold off. He was still around all team activities while rehabbing his ankle, per ESPN.
“It’s a lot easier to be on the field leading by example than it is to just talk about it,” Kelce said. “It doesn’t matter how much credibility you’ve got on your résumé or what you’ve done in the past. Until you go out there and really go through the motions and show the effort, show the excitement to be out there with the guys, it’s just never the same.”
This is not the first time Kelce’s ankle has been a problem. He has battled with this injury over the past few seasons. It has not kept him on the sidelines much, but it was definitely in the back of his mind.
“I wouldn’t say it bothered me to the point where it hindered my game,” he said. “It was just something that was nagging. Really Monday and Tuesday was where it really got me the most. And sometimes here and there, I would roll the ankle because of how loose the joint was. Other than that, I was just playing through it.”
If 103 catches for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns is “just playing through it,” then opposing teams have their hands even more full come the regular season.
The Travis Kelce Effect
With Kelce healthy and on the field, this means that the Chiefs will have all of their offensive assets on the field.
Kelce has had at least 80 catches and 1,000 yards in three straight seasons for Kansas City. He is an incredible route runner with strong hands who likes to play physical. With Rob Gronkowski no longer in the league, Kelce has taken over as the league’s best tight end.
The Chiefs offense is based around Kelce in many ways. He is a matchup problem for any linebacker in the league. His 10 touchdowns last season ranked second among all tight ends, and that number could be higher this season. At first glance, there was no ill effects from surgery.
“He did a nice job,” Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid said. “I thought he moved around well. I didn’t see anything lingering from the surgery.”
Training camp will open up on Saturday. Kelce will be a full participant in all activities. He will play sparingly in the team’s preseason games, but it is looking like he will be good to go for the season opener.
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