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Chiefs TE Travis Kelce believed to have avoided long-term knee injury; status in doubt for kickoff game vs. Lions

Another Kansas City Chiefs star is in doubt to play in Thursday night's season opener against the Detroit Lions.

Tight end Travis Kelce hyperextended his knee during practice, head coach Andy Reid told reporters on Tuesday.

Kelce is believed to have suffered a bone bruise and avoided a long-term knee injury, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported, but his status for Thursday is in doubt. Once swelling in Kelce's knee decreases, his status for Week 1 should become clearer, Rapoport and Pelissero added.

The Chiefs TE was listed as a limited participant in Tuesday's practice.

Kelce, who hasn't missed a game due to injury since 2013, absent for any period of time would be massive for the Super Bowl champs.

The tight end generated 110 receptions (third-most in the NFL), 1,338 yards (eighth), and 12 touchdowns (second) in 2022. Since Patrick Mahomes took over under center in 2018, Kelce has generated 493 catches and 6,298 receiving yards, the most by any QB-pass catcher duo over that span. Earning eight straight Pro Bowl appearances, Kelce has led the Chiefs in receptions in six of the past seven seasons.

Noah Gray and Blake Bell are the tight ends in line if Kelce misses time.

The Chiefs entered the offseason with questions once again at receiver, with young players like Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore expected to take on bigger roles. The safety net to all the WR discussion was the assumption that Kelce would continue to be Mahomes' security blanket and big-play target.

Now, two days from the 2023 Kickoff Game, that assumption is in question.

With the Chris Jones situation still unresolved, it's possible K.C. could be without two of its biggest stars come Thursday.

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