As he has throughout organized team activities, or OTAs, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce watched Thursday’s workout from the sideline. And that likely will be his vantage point when mandatory mini-camp begins next Tuesday.
But coach Andy Reid said Thursday that should be the extent of Kelce’s absence.
“I don’t think (he’ll participate) next week,” Reid said. “I think you’ll probably see him in training camp.”
When camp begins in late July at Missouri Western in St. Joseph, about six months will have passed since Kelce underwent ankle surgery. In April, Kelce called it a “clean-up” procedure. He wore a boot for a few weeks afterward.
Kelce is coming off his best season. His 103 receptions in 2018 set a franchise record and his 1,336 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns were career bests. He was named first-team All-Pro for the second time in his career.
Although he’s missed practice time, Kelce has been getting around. He accompanied quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the Final Four in Minneapolis in April and recently attended a Stanley Cup Finals game in St. Louis.
Kelce wasn’t the only tight end not practicing Thursday. Deon Yelder, the only other tight end on the roster who was with the team last season, was out with a hamstring injury, and Blake Bell missed the session with back spams. Also missing practice on Thursday was rookie safety Juan Thornhill (calf injury).
The Chiefs recently signed a tight end, second-year pro Nick Keizer from Grand Valley State, who got work with David Wells, John Lovett and the fullbacks who also play the position.
“(Keizer’s) doing a nice job,” Reid said. “We mixed our fullbacks to take some reps there. If you’re going play fullback here, you’re going to play tight end. All in all, they’re getting great work with Travis not able to practice.”