Travis Kelce injury update: Chiefs star tight end won't play in NFL opener

Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce did not play in Thursday's NFL opener against the Detroit Lions after hyperextending his knee at practice on Tuesday. The Chiefs' star offensive weapon was officially listed among the game's inactive players.

Kelce seemed to have avoided the worst when he was diagnosed with a “bone bruise” after hyperextending his knee during practice on Tuesday. However, his status for the Chiefs’ home opener against the Detroit Lions on Thursday night remained in question. In the team’s most recent injury report, Kelce was officially listed as questionable.

Earlier Thursday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Chiefs were having Kelce go through an early game-day workout to test the knee. Once completed, the tight end and his team were going to determine whether he would play in the evening matchup.

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Travis Kelce hyperextended his knee in practice on Tuesday.
Travis Kelce hyperextended his knee in practice on Tuesday.

Who is the Chiefs’ backup tight end?

Noah Gray is listed on the Chiefs’ website as the team’s immediate backup to Travis Kelce. Behind Gray on the depth chart is journeyman Blake Bell. On Thursday afternoon, the team also elevated another tight end, Matt Bushman, from their practice squad.

Gray is entering his third NFL season after the Chiefs drafted him out of Duke University in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He has recorded 35 receptions and two touchdowns in his pro career.

Bell will begin a third season in his second stint with the Chiefs on Thursday night after previous stops in San Francisco, Minnesota, Jacksonville and Dallas. To date, he has 59 receptions and one touchdown as he enters his ninth season as a pro.

Has Travis Kelce ever missed a game?

Kelce is known for his durability, although his career started with knee issues that led to a microfracture procedure. Since that time, he has missed all of three games. The last time he sat out was back in 2021 when he was on the COVID-19 list.

How long does it take for a hyperextended knee to heal?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, hyperextended knee injuries that don't require surgery could take anywhere from a few weeks to a month to fully recover.

When is the Chiefs’ next game?

The Chiefs take on the Lions on Thursday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. ET. In Week 2, they face the Jaguars on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. ET.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Travis Kelce's injury keeps him out of Thursday Night NFL opener