Chiefs Lose Fan-Favorite TE for Season, Promote Former 1st-Round Pick

Getty Kansas City Chiefs tight end Jody Fortson.

The Kansas City Chiefs made multiple roster transactions on Friday, December 23. They placed tight end Jody Fortson (elbow) on injured reserve, activated tight end Blake Bell from injured reserve, and promoted defensive tackle Danny Shelton from the practice squad to the 53-player roster.

Fortson suffered the elbow injury during Kansas City’s 30-24 overtime victory against the Houston Texans. Placing him on IR means he has to miss a minimum of four games before he is eligible to return.

Bell suffered an “unusual” hip flexor injury during the preseason and was placed on injured reserve on September 5. His return to the lineup will be a boost to Kansas City’s run game, as Bell is one of the best blocking tight ends the Chiefs have.

Shelton to Make Chiefs Debut in Week 16

Shelton, 28, entered the league as a first-round draft pick — 12th overall — of the Cleveland Browns in 2015. After three seasons in Cleveland, Shelton spent three seasons with the New England Patriots, one with the Detroit Lions, and last season with the New York Giants.

During his seven-year career, Shelton has accumulated 138 tackles and 17 tackles for loss in 100 regular season games played, according to Pro Football Reference.

Shelton worked out for the Las Vegas Raiders on August 8, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Yet the Chiefs potentially lured him away from their division rivals when they signed him to a one-year deal on August 9.

Standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing approximately 350 pounds, Shelton does his damage on the field as a run defender. With Khalen Saunders (illness) doubtful to play in the Chiefs’ December 24 game against the Seattle Seahawks, Shelton will likely fill his role in the game at Arrowhead Stadium.

Big Red on Having 3 Pro Bowl O-Linemen

The Chiefs had a total of seven players elected to the AFC’s Pro Bowl roster for the 2022 season. They were quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, center Creed Humphrey, left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., left guard Joe Thuney, defensive tackle Chris Jones, and punter Tommy Townsend.

During his press conference on December 22, Kansas City head coach Andy Reid was asked about the Chiefs having three offensive linemen being elected to the Pro Bowl.

“Well listen, that’s a close bunch and (Offensive Line Coach) Andy’s (Heck) a good football coach, so we’re lucky to have Andy and we’re lucky to have the guys that we have,” Reid explained. “They have a good chemistry in that room and they’re all pretty good football players, but my hat goes off to all three of them (Orlando Brown, Creed Humphrey, and Joe Thuney) there and the job in which they have done. We’ve just got to keep going, Herbie (Teope). I wish it happens at the end of the year (Pro Bowl voting), but it happens right now but they’re wired that way. All these guys are wired that way to where they’ll keep pressing.”

Reid also acknowledged how special getting a Pro Bowl nod is, especially for the first-timers like Townsend, Thuney, and Humphrey.

“It’s a great thing for them, so I’m happy for them. I’m happy for all the guys that make it. It’s a small fraternity that we’re all in and so, if your peers and the public end up picking you for a spot like that, that’s quite an honor so enjoy that. On the other hand, we’ve got the rest of the season that we’ve got to take care of so that’s where we’re at. And I think all those guys would say the same thing but what an honor. It’s a great honor.”

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