Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt believes All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce will play in the NFL Kickoff Game Thursday (September 7) night, despite prior reports of being doubtful due to a knee injury.
Hunt appeared on NFL Network's Good Morning Football Thursday morning and said "I wouldn't bet against him being on the field tonight" when asked about Kelce's status.
"We hope that he'll be able to go tonight. He'll be a game-time decision, but he's somebody who loves to compete, so I wouldn't bet against him being on the field tonight," Hunt said.
On Wednesday (September 6), NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Kelce appeared to have avoided structural damage in his knee, instead suffering a bone bruise.
“Source says that there is no structural damage here and this is not expected to be a long-term injury,” Rapoport said. “That said there was some swelling, I would say some real significant swelling that needs to go down in order for him to get back on the field.”
On Tuesday (September 5), Rapoport reported that Kelce was doubtful for Thursday's game due to a knee injury, but specified that it wasn't believed to be a long-term issue.
"#Chiefs star TE Travis Kelce’s status is in doubt for Thursday night’s opener vs. the #Lions because of his knee injury, but sources tell me and @TomPelissero it’s not believed to be a long-term injury. They’ll wait for swelling to go down and go from there," Rapoport wrote on his X account.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told reporters that Kelce hyperextended his knee during practice and the tight end was listed as a limited participant on Tuesday.
Kelce hasn't missed a game since his rookie season in 2013 and would be a massive loss for the defending Super Bowl champions. The 33-year-old was selected as a first-team all Pro for the fourth time and a Pro Bowler for the eighth time in his career in 2022, recording more than 1,000 yards for the seventh consecutive season, a record for the tight end position, while also leading all tight ends in receptions (110) and receiving touchdown (12).
The Chiefs will host the Detroit Lions in the NFL Kickoff Game at Arrowhead Stadium.