Is Travis Kelce playing this week? Chiefs vs. Lions injury update

Travis Kelce suffered a bone bruise in his knee at Tuesday's practice. Will he play in the Kansas City Cheifs' season opener?
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs approach their Week 1 showdown with the Detroit Lions shrouded in question marks. Chris Jones, the centerpiece of a championship defense, continues to hold out with less than 24 hours until kickoff. And now, Travis Kelce's playing status is uncertain after the tight end suffered a knee bone bruise at practice earlier in the week.

Kelce led the Chiefs' receiving corps in every major category last season. He is Patrick Mahomes' favorite target and easily the NFL's most productive player at his position. His absence — even for one week — could have a dire effect on the Chiefs' offense.

Mahomes simply doesn't have elite weapons beyond Kelce. The WR room has seen a mass exodus of talent over the last couple of years and the RB room, while deep, doesn't exactly qualify as elite. The Chiefs seldom lean heavily on the run game, anyways. Mahomes has the best arm in football and Kansas City led the NFL in passing yards last season. Kelce was only responsible for his chunk, but it was a sizable chunk. 1,338 yards on 110 receptions, to be exact.

The Chiefs want him on the field if at all possible.

Chiefs vs. Lions injury update: Is Travis Kelce playing?

Travis Kelce is not playing tonight against the Lions.

Kelce is officially questionable to play, but there's a silver lining for Chiefs fans. Kelce avoided ligament damage and there are no long-term consequences to be concerned about. Right now, it's all about whether or not the swelling goes down. From there, it's pain tolerance on Kelce's part. Bone bruises can be sensative to pressure and there's no shortage of pressure applied by NFL tacklers.

As of Thursday morning, Kelce is rumored to be testing the knee and is pushing to go, but the final call may be up to KC's medical team.

Travis' brother, Eagles lineman Jason Kelce, was kind enough to offer up the most detailed assessment of Travis' injury in a recent appearance on WIP radio (h/t Arrowhead Report).

"I know he's got some swelling going on, but it sounds like as long as they can get that down, he's gonna have a chance to go. The ligaments and everything are intact, structurally, from what we know right now, his knee's fine. So really it's about getting that swelling down and then seeing how bruised that bone is."

The elder Kelce went on to provide a personal anecdote about the time he hyperextended his knee and suffered a bone bruise after kicking a log during a bonfire. While the Chiefs are more concerned with football than with the smoky aroma of a night by the fire, all signs point toward Travis Kelce being good for the long haul.

The Lions game on Thursday doesn't necessarily fall under the 'long haul,' however. The Chiefs should get Kelce on the field if it's safe, but there's no reason to rush. Kansas City has a long 17-game marathon ahead of them, with sights set on the postseason and the Super Bowl beyond that. If Kelce misses Week 1 but comes back stronger in Week 2 or later, it could all be for the best.

Next. 3 Chiefs who could shine in Week 1 if Travis Kelce is out. 3 Chiefs who could shine in Week 1 if Travis Kelce is out. dark