Patrick Mahomes reflects on Travis Kelce's absence in Week 1

The Chiefs wide receivers had a tough time without Travis Kelce on the field, but Mahomes insists they'll be okay.
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

Even before the season started, the knock against the Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver room focused on their inexperience and the overall uncertainty without a veteran in the room. One week into a new season and those criticisms have been validated and then some.

This offseason, the Chiefs allowed Mecole Hardman to sign with the New York Jets and JuJu Smith-Schuster to leave for the New England Patriots. One year after also trading away Tyreek Hill, the wideout position had suddenly become very young and unproven. That doesn't look so bad when the Chiefs also employ the best tight end in the game, but what if Travis Kelce is not available? That's what the Chiefs found out on Thursday Night Football.

Against the Detroit Lions, the Chiefs wide receiving corps fell apart under the pressure. Kadarius Toney returned in full from a knee injury suffered in the preseason but proceeded to drop multiple passes. Skyy Moore was rarely trusted despite playing with the first team. Rashee Rice showed the bumps of being a rookie while also showing promise. The drops even caught up with reliable vets like Jerick McKinnon.

The Chiefs wide receivers had a tough time without Travis Kelce on the field, but Mahomes insists they'll be okay.

After the game, Patrick Mahomes spoke with reporters about the frustrating performance of the offense during the loss and the absence of Kelce.

"You’re losing I think the best tight end of all time, but the other guys gotta step up," said Mahomes. "It’s gonna have an impact on the game and the other guys are gonna have to step up in moments, because I’m sure there are times where he gets doubled. Just gonna have to rely on these other guys who are young and talented to step up and make plays and I believe that they will."

While Mahomes held fast to his convictions that the receivers will get better with time and experience, he also spoke about getting Kelce back. Kelce was a last-minute pull from the game after being listed as questionable, but Mahomes said he was hoping to see him back in Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"I’m not gonna put anything past Trav," said Mahomes. "He was trying to play today and just literally couldn't. I don’t know if it was his decision. It was kind of the guys above him knowing it’s going to be a long season. But yeah, he’s gonna try. He’ll do whatever he can to be out there. Hopefully, he can clear all those doctor’s tests and get back out there on the football field."