Travis Kelce isn’t getting rest
Before the NFL season began, Brett Veach spoke with reporters detailing the importance of getting help at the tight end position because the team wanted to make sure to help Travis Kelce get some rest for another long season. To date, Kelce has avoided a big injury but we’ve all watched him get banged up and he’s also 32-years-old.
The team re-signed Blake Bell to add a solid blocker to the unit and then drafted Noah Gray in the fifth round to give them another pass catcher in the mix with Jody Fortson, giving them solid pass catchers to allow for Kelce to sit. Yet so far, Kelce is playing just as much as ever through a full half-season—a frustrating sign that they’re as dependent as ever on Kelce.
In Week 9, Kelce played 56 snaps (or 86 percent) against the Packers—the most of any Chiefs player outside of linemen and Mahomes. Last week, he played 91 percent of snaps. If a team is hoping to save their star for the postseason, then these midseason stretches should include more rest for Kelce.
Unfortunately, this is the cost of losing so many games early in the schedule. Instead of having some margin with which to work and allowing for older guys like Kelce to rest (and for prospects like Gray to add some experience), the Chiefs are only a play or two away from winning or losing most games, which means forcing Kelce back into the arena.