Andy Reid’s Response to Whether Travis Kelce Will Play Against the Chargers

The Week 18 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs (10-6) and the Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) holds little significance as the outcome will not affect the Chiefs’ position as the No. 3 seed.

During a press conference on Wednesday, January 3, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed that quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be sitting out the upcoming game against the Chargers on Sunday. The decision to rest Mahomes and start backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert is not unexpected. It would be a significant risk to expose their highly valued franchise player, who recently signed a $450 million contract, to the possibility of injury in a game that holds no consequences for the team.

According to SI’s Jordan Foote, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s status for the upcoming game is still uncertain. Coach Reid has not ruled out the possibility of him playing, but he acknowledges the risks involved in potentially exposing Kelce to injury right before the playoffs. However, there is a significant milestone within reach for Kelce in Week 18.

The tight end is on the cusp of completing his eighth consecutive season with over 1,000 yards, as he is just 16 yards away from achieving this milestone. Although it is uncertain whether there is a financial incentive in his contract for reaching this mark, it is clear that his remarkable streak will come to a halt if he is unable to play.

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If Kelce is unable to play in the Week 18 matchup, it remains uncertain whether his girlfriend, Taylor Swift, will make the trip to SoFi for the underwhelming game.

During the Chiefs’ 25-17 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals last week, Mahomes achieved a significant personal milestone. He surpassed 4,000 passing yards for the sixth consecutive season, joining an exclusive group of quarterbacks in NFL history. According to Chiefs reporter Matt McMullen, only five other quarterbacks have achieved longer streaks: Drew Brees (12 straight seasons from 2006-2017), Matt Ryan (10 straight seasons from 2011-2020), Philip Rivers (8 straight seasons from 2013-2020), Peyton Manning (8 straight seasons from 2006-2014), and Matthew Stafford (7 straight seasons from 2011-2017).

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce Is Not the Only Player Andy Reid Is Undecided on Whether to Play

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is pictured at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on December 10, 2023. [Source: Getty]

Kelce isn’t the only player on the Chiefs who might be battling to get on the field for the regular season finale. Running back Isiah Pacheco is also eager to contribute and is just 65 yards shy of reaching the milestone of 1,000 rushing yards for the season.

Rashee Rice, the wide receiver, is just 62 yards away from achieving a remarkable milestone of 1,000 yards in his debut season.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones is just half a sack away from earning a well-deserved $1.25 million bonus, according to AtoZ Sports. He has been a force on the field, accumulating an impressive 9.5 sacks this season.

“I want to play, okay?” expressed the veteran confidently after his triumphant victory over the Bengals on New Year’s Eve. Despite his strong desire to continue playing, Jones acknowledged the significance of Coach Reid’s decision and respected whatever he ultimately chooses.

“Typically, over the past few years, we have had a bye week… If Coach Reid chooses to give us some rest, I will most likely take advantage of it. I could really use the week off since I have a few minor injuries. And I believe the team could also benefit from the break.”

According to Harold R. Kuntz of Fox 4 KC, Rice, Pacheco, and Jones were all included in Wednesday’s injury report. Reid emphasized the importance of allowing them to rest. If they are not fully recovered, it is unlikely that Reid will allow any of them to play on Sunday.

Travis Kelce Made a Strong Statement About the ‘Energy’ on the Chiefs Sidelines

Travis Kelce, the Chiefs tight end, was spotted at Arrowhead Stadium on December 31, 2023.

During the game against the Bengals, where the Chiefs secured their eighth-straight AFC West title, Kelce had minimal impact. The veteran tight end only managed to make three receptions for 16 yards. Despite the ongoing struggles of the Chiefs’ offense, Kelce noted a distinct, more optimistic atmosphere during the game.

In the latest episode of his podcast “New Heights,” Kelce expressed his enthusiasm for the game, describing it as a truly enjoyable experience to be a part of. He highlighted the positive energy on the sideline, which was a refreshing change from previous games. Kelce emphasized the collective excitement for everyone’s success, rather than just focusing on individual tasks. He also mentioned how players were performing well and seemed at ease on the field.

During the Chiefs’ disappointing loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Day, Kelce’s frustration got the better of him, leading him to spike his helmet in anger. However, after a stern conversation with Reid, the talented All-Pro tight end pledged to channel his competitive energy in a more productive and positive manner.

Emily Bicks is an NFL writer for Heavy.com, specializing in coverage of the Bills, Seahawks, and Chiefs. She has been a contributor to Heavy since 2019 and has had the privilege of interviewing prominent sports figures such as Jerry Rice, Shaquille O’Neal, and Stefon Diggs. To learn more about Emily Bicks, click here.

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