Kelce caught eight of 11 targets for 109 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 22-17 win over the Browns in the AFC divisional round. Kelce scored from 20 yards out early in the second quarter as the Chiefs controlled the game early, but the momentum shifted after quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered a concussion in the third quarter. The tight end continued to be effective with Chad Henne under center, making catches of five and 24 yards. Even if Mahomes is unable to play against the Bills in next week's AFC Championship Game, Kelce should still thrive against a Buffalo defense that has struggled to defend tight ends all season.
Kelce doesn't appear on the injury report the Chiefs released Wednesday, Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star reports. Kelce was held out of the Chiefs' regular-season finale against the Chargers for rest purposes and benefited from Kansas City having a first-round bye in the postseason, so he should have the benefit of fresh legs heading into the team's playoff opener Sunday versus the Browns. Top wideout Tyreek Hill, who dealt with a hamstring injury back in December, is also off the Chiefs' injury report. Patrick Mahomes will thus have his full assortment of pass catching weapons available for the divisional round.
Though Kelce is not among Kansas City's Week 17 inactives, per Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star, ESPN's Adam Teicher relays that he hasn't seen the tight end in uniform during warmups. In addition to five players previously ruled out due to injuries, Kansas City elected to deem QB Patrick Mahomes and safety Tyrann Mathieu inactive Sunday. However, with the team having clinched the AFC's No. 1 seed and a first-round bye, Teope notes that it would be surprising if a number of key players such as Kelce, who were not listed as inactive Sunday, saw extended action in the contest. Teicher's report suggests that Kelce may be rested as a precaution, along with Mahomes. In such a scenario, added Week 17 tight end snaps would be available for Nick Keizer and Deon Yelder.
Kelce is a candidate to be rested in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Chargers after dealing with some nagging injuries in recent weeks, Dave Skretta of the Associated Press reports. Kelce isn't listed on the Chiefs' Week 17 injury report and would likely play without any restrictions in a normal scenario, but Kansas City has already locked up the AFC's No. 1 seed, and head coach Andy Reid has stated that he plans to give rest to key players, including quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Though Reid hasn't detailed his plans for Kelce specifically, the star tight end and wideout Tyreek Hill (hamstring) are both likely to have minimal roles if active Week 17, as the Chiefs look to preserve the health of their top two playmakers heading into the postseason. Assuming that's the case, Kelce -- who ranks second in the league with 1,416 receiving yards on the season -- will likely fall short in his bid to become the first tight end to lead the NFL in receiving yardage.
Kelce secured seven of 13 targets for 98 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 17-14 win against the Falcons. Kelce made NFL history Sunday, surpassing George Kittle's 2018 record for tight end receiving yards in a single season (1,377). With his Week 16 output, the six-time Pro Bowler pushes his season-long total to 1,416 yards, also leaping back ahead of Green Bay's Robert Tonyan for the TE league lead with his 11th TD catch of the year Sunday. Kelce has amassed double-digit targets in seven of his past eight games, but there's a possibility he's held out for a Week 17 matchup against the Chargers, given that Kansas City has already locked up the AFC's No. 1 seed.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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