Chiefs coach Andy Reid is optimistic about Travis Kelce’s return

06/05/2014 6:50 PM

06/05/2014 7:20 PM

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is still not participating in organized training activities as he continues to recover from a torn ACL in his left knee.

But coach Andy Reid hopes that Kelce, a third-round pick in 2013, will be ready for training camp.

“Yeah, he’s getting close,” Reid said Thursday. “He’s been working his tail off, so he and Rick (Burkholder) have been spending a lot of time together.”

Injuries prevented the speedy Kelce from making a significant contribution as a rookie. He caught two passes for 28 yards in the preseason before a bone bruise in his knee sidelined him for a significant portion of camp. He appeared briefly in one regular-season game but was put on injured reserve in October after a microfracture procedure.

Without him, the Chiefs received a little less production from the position than Reid is used to. In his previous four years in Philadelphia, Reid’s tight ends combined to catch an average of 72 passes for 855 yards. The Chiefs’ tight ends last year, led by veteran Anthony Fasano and second-year pro Sean McGrath, caught only 54 passes for 537 yards.

Thus far in camp, however, the tight ends have been prominently involved. Fasano battled injuries last year but finally looks healthy, while second-year tight end Demetrius Harris — an ex-basketball player — has come back bigger and stronger and has occasionally gotten a chance to run with the first team.

“At this time last year, I thought we were in pretty good shape in the tight end spot and then we had injuries,” Reid said. “It’s not much different with the things that we’re doing. Some of the guys are a little bit older now and getting the hang of things.”

Roster moves

The Chiefs made a handful of roster moves Thursday, as they signed undrafted rookie receiver Deon Anthony and veteran cornerback Justin Rogers.

To make room for both, they released defensive tackle Risean Broussard.

Anthony, who was listed at 6 feet and 210 pounds, played quarterback and running back last season at Troy. He rushed for 446 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 482 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes for 116 yards.

At his pro day, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds, bench-pressed 225 pounds 17 times times and recorded a vertical jump of 36 inches.

Rogers, 26, was taken in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He spent the majority of his first three seasons in the NFL with the Bills until he was released last November. He then spent time with the Houston Texans and the Miami Dolphins.

For his career, Rogers — who is listed at 5 feet 11 and 181 pounds — has recorded 76 tackles, 14 passes defensed and three interceptions. He also earned his only significant experience as a kick returner with Buffalo in 2011, when he returned 13 kicks for 373 yards, an average of 28.7 yards per return.

Broussard, who was on his second stint with the Chiefs, suffered a knee injury in rookie camp and had not practiced since. The 6-foot-2, 278-pounder played eight games in one season at Hinds Community College in 2012, recording 61 tackles, six tackles for a loss, six sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles.

Injury report

Receiver A.J. Jenkins (knee), receiver Kyle Williams (knee), cornerback David Van Dyke (hamstring) and linebacker Ben Johnson (hamstring) did not practice.

Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke also has a hamstring injury.

Etc.

Cornerback Sean Smith missed practice Thursday for a personal matter, Reid said.

Outside linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Brandon Flowers were not present for the sixth straight practice.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.

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